LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A person opened hearth at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night time, killing at the least 16 individuals and engulfing the state’s second-largest metropolis in chaos. The suspect remained at giant as authorities ordered residents and enterprise house owners to remain inside and off the streets.
Two legislation enforcement officers informed The Related Press dozens of individuals additionally had been wounded. The officers weren’t approved to publicly focus on particulars of the continued investigation and spoke to AP on situation of anonymity.
Lewiston Police mentioned in an earlier Fb submit that they had been coping with an energetic shooter incident at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) away. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Workplace launched two images of the suspect on its Fb web page that confirmed a shooter strolling into an institution with a weapon raised to their shoulder.
“Please keep off the roads to permit emergency responders entry to the hospitals,” police mentioned.
On its web site, Central Maine Medical Heart mentioned employees had been “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter occasion” and had been coordinating with space hospitals to soak up sufferers. A lady who answered the telephone within the emergency division mentioned no additional info could possibly be launched and that the hospital itself was on lockdown.
Melinda Small, the proprietor of Legends Sports activities Bar and Grill, mentioned her employees instantly locked their doorways and moved all 25 prospects and workers away from the doorways after a buyer reported listening to concerning the taking pictures on the bowling alley lower than a quarter-mile away round 7 p.m. Quickly, the police flooded the roadway and a police officer ultimately escorted everybody out of the constructing 4 at a time. Everybody within the bar is protected.
“I’m actually in a state of shock. I’m blessed that my crew responded shortly and everyone seems to be protected,” Small informed The Related Press. “However the identical time, my coronary heart is damaged for this space and for what everyone seems to be coping with. I simply really feel numb.”
The alert for Lewiston was made shortly after 8 p.m. because the sheriff’s workplace reported that legislation enforcement businesses had been investigating “two energetic shooter occasions.” Officers issued an replace round 10 p.m. for what they described as a manhunt.
“Keep away from the world till authorities give the all-clear,” the assertion mentioned. “Search various routes to avoid the world and any disruptions. If already working within the affected area, adhere to all directions issued by native officers, together with the shelter-in-place order.”
“We’re encouraging all companies to lock down and or shut whereas we examine,” the sheriff’s workplace reported.
A spokesperson for Maine Division of Public Security urged residents to remain of their properties with their doorways locked.
“Legislation enforcement is presently investigating at two places proper now,” Shannon Moss mentioned. “Once more please keep off the streets and permit legislation enforcement to diffuse the state of affairs.”
Gov. Janet Mills launched an announcement echoing these directions. She mentioned she has been briefed on the state of affairs and can stay in shut contact with public security officers.
President Joe Biden had spoken by telephone to Mills and the state’s Congress members, providing “full federal help within the wake of this horrific assault,” a White Home assertion mentioned.
Native colleges might be closed Thursday and other people ought to shelter in place or search security, Superintendent Jake Langlais mentioned, including: “Keep near your family members. Embrace them.”
Lewiston, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Portland, emerged as a significant middle for African immigration into Maine. The Somali inhabitants, which numbers within the 1000’s, has modified the demographics of the as soon as overwhelmingly white mill metropolis into one of the various in northern New England.
Ange Amores, a spokesperson for town of Lewiston, mentioned metropolis officers should not commenting on the taking pictures. Amores mentioned Maine State Police had been planning to carry a information convention, doubtless at metropolis corridor, to replace the general public on Wednesday night time.
Maine Sen. Angus King, an impartial, mentioned he was “deeply unhappy for town of Lewiston and all these frightened about their household, buddies and neighbors” and was monitoring the state of affairs. King’s workplace mentioned the senator could be headed straight dwelling to Maine on the primary flight attainable.