Thomas “Tommy” Conrad had been planning on doing a pumpkin carving at the bowling alley for the kids in the Lewiston community before a gunman opened fire in a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 18 people.
Now, mourners are leaving Jack-o-lanterns outside Just-In-Time Recreation as a tribute for the 34-year-old manager, who was killed in the attack while trying to take down the shooter.
As news of the massacre broke, Alex McMahan, who co-owns a chain of dispensaries in the area, texted his longtime customer and buddy Conrad: “Are you okay, brother?”
“And he obviously didn’t text back,” Mr McMahan told The Independent.
He later received an eerie follow-up ‘ding’ on his iPhone on Saturday alerting him again to the unanswered text, reminding him of the tragedy that unfolded just days earlier.
“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’s father Timothy confirmed that he was killed in the attack. He leaves behind a nine-year-old daughter.
The shelter-in-place order that gripped Lewiston for 48 hours had been lifted on Friday as authorities announced they’d found the body of shooter Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army reservist who’d gone on the run immediately following the shootings at Just-In-Time and Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant.
The locations are miles from each other in the town; Card opened fire first on Wednesday just before 7pm at the bowling alley before hightailing it to the bar, where he killed a further eight people.
A GoFundMe created for Conrad’s family describes him as a man who was “devoted to his job, his game and his young daughter, Caroline.”
“He died a hero,” the campaign stated. “He put his life in harm’s way to charge the gunman and save the children who were there.”
Conrad “served in the Army, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on the night of the shooting his instincts kicked in and he exemplified service before self,” it read.
The campaign has raised $10,830 out of its $25,000 goal as of Sunday morning.