A former employee of Walmart in Maine who’s 18 years old was arrested this week because of a post he made on Snapchat in which he posed with ammunition and a hunting rifle standing outside of the place he used to work.
The Snapchat photo had the caption: “Lewiston part 2.”
The suspect, who was identified as Michael Bowden by the Sheriff’s Office in Somerset County, was ultimately charged with a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence terrorizing as well as a felony charge of aggravated reckless conduct.
The selfie that Bowden posted showed him with a Savage bolt-action rifle, and was taken while he was standing in the parking lot of the Walmart in Palmyra.
As Mike Mitchell, the sheriff’s chief deputy in Somerset County, commented to the Kennebec Journal about Bowden:
“He took a picture of himself in a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot, and in that picture you can see a gun – a hunting rifle. You can also see a bullet in his lap.”
The teen used to work at the Walmart in the town of Palmyra, which is located about 80 miles northeast of where the mass shooting occurred recently in Lewiston. He was fired back in 2021, though.
Deputies of the sheriff’s office said that Bowden recently started showing up outside of that Walmart every night, including last Saturday when the photo was taken.
“We take this stuff very serious (sic). You have to nowadays.”
On Sunday, officials with law enforcement agencies received a report about the post that Bowden made. That was only a few days after U.S. Army reservist Robert Card shot up a bar and bowling alley in Lewiston, which left 18 people dead and another 13 injured.
The 40-year-old Card evaded people for two days, who organized an all-out manhunt to find him. Ultimately, they found his body after he apparently died from a gunshot wound that was self-inflicted.
As for Bowden, he was placed under arrest at his home, which is located in Etna, on Sunday. During the arrest, deputies during a search found the rifle that the suspect was seen brandishing in his Snapchat post. They seized that rifle as part of the search.
The Bangor Daily News reported that Bowden was then booked into the local county jail. However, he was released on Tuesday on bail of $10,000.
He’s not due to make his initial appearance in court until January 3, 2024.
Police today unfortunately have to worry about copycat scenarios from mass shootings like the one that Card carried out. Part of the reason for that is that young people can easily see all the information about the shootings on TV and online, unlike how things used to be.
Then, these same young people have access to the internet, where they can post almost whatever they want. And even if Bowden says he never intended to carry out such a heinous act, he still already committed a serious crime by posting that message on social media.