Four deaf friends, a bar manager and teen bowler: The Maine shooting victims

The ages of those caught up in the violence ranged from 14 to 76 years old. Andrea Cavallier, Rachel Sharp, Mike Bedigan and Ariana Baio report

Saturday 04 November 2023 12:51 GMT
<p>The Maine mass shooting victims: (top row l-r) Ronald G Morin, Peyton Brewer-Ross, Joshua A Seal, Bryan M MacFarlane, Joseph Lawrence Walker, Arthur Fred Strout; (second row l-r) Maxx A Hathaway, Stephen M Vozella, Thomas Ryan Conrad, Michael R Deslauriers II, Jason Adam Walker, Tricia C Asselin; (bottom row l-r) William A Young, Aaron Young, Robert E Violette and Lucille M Violette, William Frank Brackett, Keith D Macneir </p>

The Maine mass shooting victims: (top row l-r) Ronald G Morin, Peyton Brewer-Ross, Joshua A Seal, Bryan M MacFarlane, Joseph Lawrence Walker, Arthur Fred Strout; (second row l-r) Maxx A Hathaway, Stephen M Vozella, Thomas Ryan Conrad, Michael R Deslauriers II, Jason Adam Walker, Tricia C Asselin; (bottom row l-r) William A Young, Aaron Young, Robert E Violette and Lucille M Violette, William Frank Brackett, Keith D Macneir

A bar manager, four deaf friends and a teenage bowler are among the 18 victims who were formally identified by police as victims of the Maine mass shooting.

The ages of those caught up in the violence ranged from 14 to 76 years old. Some who died reportedly put themselves in the line of fire to protect others.

Just before 7pm on Wednesday 25 October, the gunman entered Just In Time Recreation – a popular, family-friendly establishment– and opened fire on the innocent victims inside. Seven people including one female and six males died in the attack at the bowling alley, before the gunman moved on to his second target the Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant.

Late on Friday evening the body of 40-year-old Robert Card, the man sought in connection with the killings, was found.

Officials said that the US Army reservist and certified firearms instructor had recently made threats to carry out a shooting at a National Guard facility and had reported mental health issues, including auditory hallucinations.

Here is a list of the victims as identified by police:

Aaron and Bill Young

Aaron Young, 14, and his father Bill Young, 44, were at Just In Time Recreation for an evening with their bowling league on Wednesday night when the gunman entered and opened fire.

Bill’s younger brother, Rob Young, told Reuters that for hours after the shooting their family had no idea what happened to Aaron or Bill. The search ended tragically on Thursday afternoon when the family learned that both the father and son were killed in the attack.

Kim McConville, Bill’s cousin, said that Aaron and Bill were just “innocent people” enjoying a night together at the bowling alley.

“Just innocent people out for a night of bowling,” she said. “This was a children’s event. You know, who expects a shooter to go into a children’s event? But you know, this is a crazy world that we live in today.”

Aaron, 14, was bowling with his father and their league

Aaron was a sophomore in high school who enjoyed “doing anything his father was doing” according to a tribute from a GoFundMe page. His family said he was a gentle and “thoughtful” kid.

Bill and Aaron Young in an undated picture

Bill was described as “hardworking” and “always enjoyed life to the fullest.” He provided for his family which consists of his wife, Cindy, and his two daughters, Kayla and Lauren.

“If anyone ever needed anything, Bill and his wife were the first to lend a hand. I couldn’t have asked for a better big brother,” Mr Young said.

Joseph Walker

Joseph Walker, 57, was the bar manager at Schemengee’s Bar and Grille in Lewiston. His father, Leroy Walker, identified him as one of the 18 victims who died last week in the shooting.

Walker was described as a “husband, father, grandpa and son,” in a GoFundMe page meant to support his surviving family members.

He was at Schemengees on the night of the shooting to play cornhole with his family and friends, according to his daughter Bethany.

Joseph Walker

It took over 14 hours for Mr Walker to be notified about his son, and he said his family was “suffering and dying in a nightmare we don’t understand.”

“None of us slept, we were up all night,” he said. “We didn’t know where to go, who to run to. They didn’t notify any of us,” Mr Walker said.

Bob and Lucy Violette

Bob Violette, a 76-year-old retired Sears mechanic and avid bowler, was identified by his daughter-in-law Cassandra as one of the victims, she told the Portland Press Herald.

Violette, who was a native of Lewiston and ran a youth bowling league, was reportedly killed trying to protect the kids he was responsible for on Wednesday night.

Both he and his wife Lucy, 73, were keen bowlers, having started the youth bowling league at Just In Time Recreation, for which Violette was recently inducted into the Maine Bowling Hall of Fame.

“He wouldn’t let you walk out the door without giving him a hug, and a kiss on the cheek. He was just there for everything,” Cassandra said.

Bob Violette

She said he had a special bond with his grandkids and was a doting husband to his wife Lucy, who was also killed in the shooting.

“His first thought every day was her,” Cassandra added.

The couple is survived by their three sons and six grandchildren.

Bryan MacFarlane

Bryan MacFarlane, 41, was fatally shot at Schemengees Bar & Grille while participating in a cornhole tournament.

MacFarlane was “a proud member of the deaf community,” his family said in a GoFundMe description.

His sister, Keri Brooks, told CNN that he typically went to the bar on Wednesdays for a weekly cornhole session and to hang out with his friends.

Bryan MacFarlane

MacFarlane worked as a truck driver and was one of the first deaf people in the state of Vermont to get his commercial trucking license. In his free time, he enjoyed riding his motorcycle and playing with his dog, Ms Brooks said.

He grew up in Maine and moved back to the state recently to be close to his family and friends.

His family said they hope to raise enough money in his memory to create a scholarship at a school in Maine for a deaf recipient “to encourage deaf teens to pursue a career in trade.”

Tricia Asselin

Tricia Asselin, 53, worked part-time at Just In Time Recreation and was bowling on Wednesday night with her sister when the shooter came in and opened fire, her family told CNN.

As soon as gunfire began, Asselin ran to the counter to call 911.

“We were just running, and I kept saying: ‘I want my sister out of there’. And she called 911 and put herself in his way by trying to get help. She’s a hero. My sister is a hero,” Asselin’s sister Bobbi-Lynn Nichols told People magazine.

Tricia Asselin

“That was just her. She wasn’t going to run. She was going to try and help,” Asselin’s brother, DJ Johnson, told CNN.

Ms Nichols said that it was her sister’s day off from work but that she still went to Just In Time Recreation to bowl with her family.

“My sister was the most kind, most honest, most giving person you would ever meet. She would take her last penny and give it to you. She would raise money for people she didn’t even know,” Ms Nichols said.

Greg Hird, had played in the same bowling league as Tricia Asselin, the sole woman killed in the massacre, and regularly bowled with her. When he heard the news of the shooting, he called her phone eight times — but no one answered.

“She was just the greatest person ever,” said Mr Hird, weeping as he spoke about his friend. “No matter what was going on in her life, she would give everything back. Truly the sweetest woman I’ve ever met.”

Tommy Conrad

Thomas “Tommy” Conrad, 34, worked as a manager at Just In Time Recreation and was fatally shot during the mass shooting on Wednesday.

Alex McMahan, who co-owns a chain of dispensaries in the Lewiston area, texted his longtime customer and buddy Conrad, “Are you okay, brother?”

“And he obviously didn’t text back,” Mr McMahan told The Independent.

Tommy Conrad

“I hear that he died trying to take out the shooter, which was just an amazing act of selfless heroism – and knowing him, and knowing how good of a guy he was, I’m not surprised at all that he didn’t hesitate to put his life on the line to try to help others,” Mr McMahan added.

Conrad had been planning on doing a pumpkin carving at the bowling alley for the kids in the Lewiston community. Following the shooting, mourners left Jack-o-lanterns outside of the bowling alley to pay tribute to Conrad.

Conrad’s father, Timothy Conrad, confirmed that he was killed in the attack to ABC News. Conrad is survived by his nine-year-old daughter.

Peyton Brewer-Ross

Peyton Brewer-Ross, 39, is among those who were fatally shot during the mass shooting on Wednesday.

The Maine AFL-CIO – a state federation of over 160 local labor unions – announced that Brewer-Ross, one of its members, was among those killed. He worked at a pipe shop in Bath Iron Works (BIW)

Brewer-Ross had recently completed coursework and on-the-job training at BIW’s “rigorous apprenticeship program”.

Brewer-Ross was a father and “loved by his community” the federation wrote on X, sharing a picture of him smiling and holding a young child.

Peyton Brewer Ross

He was a lover of the game cornhole and was at Schemengees Bar and Grille playing in a tournament went the gunman opened fire.

His brother, Ralph Wellman Brewer, said in a GoFundMe description that cornhole was one of the things that Brewer-Ross thought “was so much fun.

Brewer-Ross is survived by his partner, Rachael, and their two-year-old daughter.

Joshua Seal

Joshua Seal, 36, was a well-known American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and was hosting a community event for members of the deaf community at Schemengees Bar & Grille when the shooting unfolded.

Seal was the Director of Interpreting Services for the Pine Tree Society – an organisation which “provides Maine children and adults with disabilities the opportunities and the means to create better lives for themselves and their families.”

His wife, Elizabeth, confirmed his death in a post on Facebook calling him the “best father” to the couple’s four children.

Joshua Seal

“He was always there for them, lending an eye or a hand and going to their sporting/extracurricular activities. He always loved spending time with them, travelling, going for a day trip to the beach, or going camping for the weekend. Not only was he an amazing father, he was a wonderful husband, my best friend, and my soulmate,” Elizabeth wrote.

Seal’s mother, Michele, said her son was “the most selfless person you would ever meet.”

He is survived by his four children, aged 12, nine, seven and three, as well as his wife.

Michael Deslauriers

Michael Deslauriers, 51, was killed alongside his close friend, Jason Walker, at Just In Time Recreation.

Deslauriers died trying to save their families from the shooter by charging at the gunman.

In a heartbreaking post on the Sabattus Historical Society’s Facebook page, Deslauriers’s father, Michael Deslauriers Sr, described how the two men leaped into action to try to save others and stop the killings.

Deslauriers’ ex-wife, Stacey, described him as an amazing “man”, “father” and “provider”, according to The Washington Post.

He is survived by his four children.

Jason Walker (left) & Michael Deslauriers II (right)

Jason Walker

Jason Walker, 51, died alongside his close friend, Michael Deslauries, at Just In Time Recreation while trying to save others from the shooter.

“They made sure their wives and several young children were under cover then they charged the shooter,” Michael Deslauriers Sr. wrote in the post about Walker and his son,” Michael Deslauriers Sr said.

Ron Morin

Ronald “Ron” Morin, 55, was fatally shot during the mass shooting in Lewiston.

Morin was described as having “an infectious personality” and a man “who always put others before himself,” his family said in a GoFundMe description.

“He was a man who always put others before himself and looked for the humour and positivity in even the most tragic circumstances. He has touched so many lives who are trying to reach out and provide support for his family however they are able,” his family said.

Ron Morin

Rosa Storer, a stylist at Taboo Hair Design in Lewiston where he had his hair cut for 25 years, called him “an upstanding man with a lot of joy in his heart”.

Morin was known to frequent DuBois Cafe on Saturdays.

In his memory, his friends celebrated his life at the cafe this past weekend.

“They filled up this entire corner of the restaurant, and they all got something similar – so he would typically get a ham and Cooper cheese omelette, hash browns on the side, no toast typically, and bacon on the side,” waitress Alyssa Black told The Independent on Sunday. “Everyone came in yesterday, and they got pretty much his meal – the bacon on the side, no toast, no sides.”

Morin is survived by his wife, Lynn, and their two children.

Arthur Strout

Arthur “Artie” Strout, 42, was killed at Schemengees Bar & Grille while playing pool with friends.

Strouts’ father, Arthur Barnard, told WCVB that he had been at the bar with his son that night and had left just 10 minutes before the shooting began.

“He was supposed to leave with me and he decided he wanted to stay for a couple more games,” Mr Barnard said.

Arthur Strout

He added: “People loved him. They just loved him.”

Strout is survived by his wife, Kristy, and their five children.

Billy Brackett

William “Billy” Brackett, 48, was also attending the community event for deaf people at Schemengees Bar & Grill on Wednesday night when he was fatally shot.

Brackett’s father told ABC News that the group was playing cornhole when the gunman targeted the second location.

His friends described him as someone who loved darts, cornhole, fishing and hunting in a GoFundMe description.

Billy Brackett

Brackett’s friend, Nick Perry, paid tribute to him on Facebook, writing: “I’ll never forget the laughs I had you in when I was trying to learn some sign language at cornhole.”

Another friend, Owen Horr, described Brackett as kind and shy who was obsessed with sports from a young age in a Facebook post.

“He had natural-born athletic skills... He was the best soccer goalie, playing baseball and basketball. He made more than 1,000 points during his senior high school years. Also, he was the outstanding baseball player in the league in Auburn/Lewiston, ME,” Mr Horr wrote.

He is survived by his wife, Kristina, and their two-year-old daughter.

Steve Vozzella

Steven “Steve” Vozzella, 45, was also part of the cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar & Grille.

Vozella was a member of the deaf community and a United States Postal Service (USPS) worker for more than 20 years.

Vozella’s brother, Nick Vozzella, confirmed to ABC News that he was killed in the shooting.

Steve Vozzella

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), a union representing city delivery letter carriers employed by the US Postal Service, paid tribute to Vozella saying they were “heartbroken” by the news of his death.

Brother Vozzella was only 45 years old. He had much more life to live before it was stolen from him in an all-too-common senseless act of gun violence,” NALC President Brian L Renfroe said.

Friends of Vozzella said he was “a hardworking man who loved his family and animals,” in a GoFundMe description.

He is survived by his wife, Megan, and his daughter.

Maxx Hathaway

Maxx Hathaway, 34, was killed in the mass shooting that took place in Lewiston.

Hathaway was described as “goofy” and “down-to-earth” by his sister, Kelsay Hathaway, in a GoFundMe description. She said her brother loved to joke around and was uplifting even in difficult times.

According to Kelsay, her brother was a full-time stay-at-home dad.

Maxx Hathaway, 34, was killed during the Maine mass shooting

Hathaway is survived by his daughter and his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child.

Keith Macneir

Keith Macneir, 64, was visiting his son in Lewiston, Maine when gunfire suddenly broke out at Schemengees Bar & Grille.

Macneir’s niece, Grace Chilton, said Macneir’s death is an “overwhelming burden” for Breslin and began a GoFundMe to raise money to support Breslin.

“Keith was the friendliest & kindest guy in any room – his loss will leave a huge hole in the lives of many, many people,” Grace wrote.

Keith Macneir, 64, was visiting his son in Maine when gunfire broke out at a local restaurant and bar

Macneir is survived by his son.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in