In a horrifying and tragic incident that has shaken the community of Lewiston, Maine, at least 22 individuals lost their lives and between 50 to 60 more were wounded in a mass shooting on Wednesday night, as reported by NBC News, citing a Lewiston police source.
The nightmare unfolded when Maine State Police, along with the county sheriff, initially alerted the public to an active shooter situation. Although they did not immediately provide details, they issued a plea for residents to shelter in place and remain indoors, keeping their doors locked.
Maine State Police used the social media platform “X” to communicate the urgent message, saying, “There is an active shooter in Lewiston. We ask people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations.”
Shortly after, the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to share two photographs of a suspect who was at large. They requested the public’s assistance in identifying the individual, described as a bearded man wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans, seen holding a rifle in a firing position.
The Central Maine Medical Center, located in Lewiston, issued a statement indicating that they were responding to a mass casualty incident involving a mass shooter. They were actively coordinating with nearby hospitals to ensure patients received the necessary care.
Lewiston, a city situated in Androscoggin County and approximately 35 miles north of Portland, Maine’s largest city, was the tragic backdrop of this senseless act of violence.
The Sun Journal, citing a spokesperson from the Lewiston police, reported shootings at three separate locations: Sparetime Recreation, Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant, and a Walmart distribution center. The horrifying scale of the incident sent shockwaves throughout the entire region.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation and will continue to receive updates, as confirmed by a U.S. official in Washington.
Maine Governor Janet Mills issued a statement expressing her deep concern for the situation. She conveyed that she had been briefed on the incident and promised the state’s full support for the affected community.
As the investigation into this tragic event continues, the hearts of the nation go out to the victims and their families, and the community of Lewiston as they come to terms with this devastating act of violence.