A vigil was held on a Saturday evening to honor the victims of a tragic mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. The incident, which left 18 people dead and 13 wounded, has sent shockwaves through the community. The past few days had seen the town under lockdown, but Saturday marked the first day people could step outside their homes as the lockdown was finally lifted after the gunman, responsible for the 18 lives lost, was found dead.
Coming Together to Heal: The opportunity to step outside was not just a chance for fresh air; it was a moment for the community to come together and start the healing process. In the face of such horror and evil, signs of hope, resilience, and faith began to emerge. Eighteen crosses, one for each life lost, were solemnly placed at Sparetime Recreation and Schemengees Bar and Grille. It’s a poignant tribute to the victims, and a reminder of the 13 individuals who were wounded during the attack.
Memorials and Support: Bre Allard, a teacher in Lewiston, played a crucial role in creating these memorials. She engaged her students in making posters to honor the victims, keeping an ever-expanding list of their names. The community rallied around these displays, offering their support and condolences. The town of Lisbon, just a stone’s throw away, also came together for a candlelight vigil to remember and pray for those who lost their lives. The grief is profound, and as Debbi Heffernan of Auburn puts it, “It’s hard.”
A Glimpse of Closure: Families, particularly those with children, felt a collective sigh of relief as the lockdown was lifted. Fear had gripped the town in the days following the shooting. Jake Deshaine of Wells shared how his 10-year-old daughter was terrified and sought refuge in her room, away from windows. It’s a reminder that the trauma of such events can have a lasting impact.
Investigation and Questions: As the community mourns, investigators have provided updates on how they located the suspect’s body. He was discovered in the back of a trailer at the Maine Recycling Corporation in Lisbon, a mile from where he abandoned his car after the shootings. Card, the suspect, had previously worked at this facility. The authorities found him with two firearms, and reports suggest he took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Questions have arisen about the thoroughness of the investigation, as the area was cleared by investigators twice, but the property across the street was not searched. The state is now examining how this was missed.
A Community United: The tragedy has brought the community closer, with over 800 tips pouring in. Remarkably, three of these tips came from the suspect’s own family, who were the first to identify him. Investigative efforts included a dozen search warrants, one of which revealed a note in the suspect’s home. This note contained Card’s cellphone password and banking information, indicating his intentions.
While details about the incident continue to emerge, the Lewiston community is determined to rebuild and remember those they’ve lost. The road to recovery will be challenging, but the strength and resilience displayed by the community offer hope for a brighter future.