LEWISTON, MAINE (WHDH) – Tributes are pouring in as family members and friends of the 18 people who were fatally shot during two mass killings in Maine this week mourn their loss.
Investigators said 40-year-old Robert Card allegedly first targeted a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine before targeting a restaurant in town around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Officials said seven people were killed at the bowling alley, Just-In-Time Recreation. Eight people died at the restaurant, Schemengees Bar and Grille. Three other people died after being taken to area hospitals.
As Card remained at large Friday, authorities announced all 18 victims had been identified. Their ages ranged from 14 to 76.
Joseph Walker was the manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille. His father said he died trying to stop the gunman after grabbing a knife from behind the bar.
“He picked up a butcher’s knife and went after the gunman to try and stop him from other people,” Leroy Walker Sr. said. “And that’s when he shot my son to death. Trying to save some more lives, he ended up losing his life.”
Bryan MacFarlane, 49, spent many of his Wednesdays at Schemengees, and was participating in a cornhole tournament for the deaf community when he was shot and killed.
Bobbi Nichols, a witness to the shooting, said her sister, Tricia Asselin worked part-time at the bowling alley. Nichols said she was bowling with Asselin and described nearly being trampled trying to run away. Her sister did not make it out.
“We heard a big bang,” she recalled. “I wasn’t sure what it was until I heard another shot and then I knew, I couldn’t see her, and everybody was running.”
Laurie Ford lives down the street from Schemengees. Among the dead are three people she has got to know well over the years, including a former coworker — Bill Brackett.
“He seemed very sweet, very nice guy,” Ford said. “I’ve seen him many times. It will be hard to go to work and know that he won’t be there anymore.”
Police on Friday released more names of those killed, including Joshua Seal, a well-known sign language interpreter.
Maxx Hathaway was a father of two.
Ron Morin was in Schemengees when he was gunned down. For those who frequent the popular watering hole, the shock was still strong.
“It’s just hard to believe because we go there,” said Tom DuPont, who lives nearby. “We could have been sitting there and it’s just there but for the grace of God.”
Peyton Brewer-Ross is another one of the 18 confirmed victims. He worked at Bath Iron Works, which posted on Facebook Thursday, calling him “a valuable part of our team.”
“All of us at Bath Iron Works are heartbroken to share that we have lost a member of our BIW family,” the company said.
In Lewiston Friday, Craig Williams drove more than an hour to honor lives lost.
“I just wanted to drop off some candles, show my sentiment and let them know Lewiston is still strong despite the fact,” he said.
As community members mourn, some survivors are being hailed as heroes. Among them, Tom Giberti works at the bowling alley. His nephew on Facebook said Giberti was shot several times trying to shield six children who were bowling.
One of the children in the bowling alley was a 10-year-old girl. She shared her story with ABC’s Good Morning America.
“It’s just shocking,” said Zoey Levesque. “It’s something that you would think would never happen…I never thought I would grow up and get a bullet in my leg.”
Levesque said she was worried whether she would make it out of the bowling alley.
“Why?” she said. “Why do people do this?”
Just-In-Time Recreation issued a statement after Wednesday’s shooting saying, “None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is.”
“We are devastated for our community and our staff,” the statement continued. “We lost some amazing and wholehearted people from our bowling community last night. There are no words to fix this or make it better.”
“My heart is crushed,” the owner of Schemengees said in a statement. “I am at a loss for words. In a split second your world gets turned upside down for no good reason.”
“We lost great people in this community,” the owner continued. “How can we make any sense of this? Sending out prayers to everyone.
People in Lewiston speaking with 7NEWS said the community is one where everybody knows everybody. The ripple effects of this week’s shootings, as a result, will be felt for a long time.
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