Around 7pm, law enforcement received calls about a gunman who had opened fire at a local bowling alley called Sparetime Recreation. Minutes later, calls came in reporting a shooting at a restaurant called Schemengees Bar & Grille, just four miles away.
The horrific incident has left the city of Lewistown, the second-most populous city in Maine, in fear as police race to find the suspect responsible for the deadly shooting.
The county of Androscoggin has asked residents in Lewistown, as well as surrounding areas, to shelter in place until the suspected gunman is caught.
A shelter-in-place was extended to the town of Bowdoin, located in Sagadahoc County, on Thursday after a “vehicle of interest” was found there.
The incident is the 565th mass shooting to occur in the US this year and so far the deadliest – Governor Janet Mills called it “a dark day” for the state.
Mass shootings rarely occur in Maine, especially in the city of Lewiston which has a low violent crime rate with only three homicides recorded in 2022.
Lewiston, located approximately 30 miles north of Portland, is known for its diversity, being home to the largest French-speaking population in the US and a significant population of Somalians.