At least 16 dead in Maine mass shootings, police say | Maine

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A man opened fire at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night, killing at least 16 people and engulfing the state’s second-largest city in chaos. The shooter remained at large as authorities ordered residents and business owners to stay inside and off the streets.

The officials said multiple people also had been wounded. Investigators were still processing the crime scenes and gathering evidence as police searched for the man who opened fire Wednesday at two locations in the Maine town.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Multiple outlets have offered conflicting fatality counts ranging from 10 to 22. As of 10:15pm ET, authorities have not said whether the shooter or shooters have been apprehended and have not confirmed the number of people dead.

Lewiston police said in an earlier Facebook post that they were dealing with an active shooter incident at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley, and a restaurant within it, Schemengees Bar and Grille.

“Please stay off the roads to allow emergency responders access to the hospitals,” police said.

On its website, the central Maine medical center said staff were “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter event” and were coordinating with area hospitals to take in patients.

Maine state police ordered residents in the state’s second-largest city to shelter in place Wednesday night because of “two active shooter events”.

The alert for Lewiston was made shortly after 8pm as the Androscoggin county sheriff’s office reported that law enforcement agencies were investigating.

“We are encouraging all businesses to lock down and or close while we investigate,” the sheriff’s office said.

A spokesperson for the Maine department of public safety urged residents to stay in their homes with their doors locked.

“Law enforcement is currently investigating at two locations right now,” Shannon Moss said. “Again please stay off the streets and allow law enforcement to diffuse the situation.”

The sheriff’s office released two photos of a suspect on its Facebook page, showing a man walking into an establishment with a gun raised to his shoulder.

Blurry overhead photo of white-presenting man holding black automatic rifle to right shoulder.
This handout image from the Androscoggin county sheriff’s office via Facebook shows a photo of the armed suspect. Photograph: Androscoggin county sheriff’s office/AFP/Getty Images

The governor, Janet Mills, released a statement echoing those instructions. She said she has been briefed on the situation and will remain in close contact with public safety officials.

The Sun Journal newspaper reported that police, fire and rescue personnel converged on Sparetime Recreation before reports of a second location at a bar and grill.

Kathy Lebel, a co-owner of Schemengees, who was not at the bar before gunfire erupted, said she was told a person walked into the restaurant and “started shooting”. The staff ran out, she said.

“It was just a fun night playing cornhole … it’s the last thing you’re expecting, right?” Lebel told the newspaper. “I still feel like this whole thing is a nightmare.”

Lebel was among about two dozen people outside the central Maine medical center trying to get more information about friends and family. One man said a friend had gone to Schemengees for cornhole night and was not answering his phone.

More details soon …

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