Home » Maine Shootings: ‘Helicopters, Sirens. It’s Crazy’ – Lewiston Resident
Crime News Police U.S

Maine Shootings: ‘Helicopters, Sirens. It’s Crazy’ – Lewiston Resident

A shocked Lewiston resident has told the BBC News Channel that the whole city was put in lockdown after mass shootings that reportedly left at least 18 people dead and more than a dozen injured.

Billie Jayne Cooke, who is running for the city council, said she was just leaving a public event on Wednesday evening when she first heard of the attack and that the shooter was on the run.

“The entire ride home was just solid sirens, one siren after another. Hlicopters, sirens, I’ve never heard so much activity in my life in this city.”

The shootings have stunned the city of 40,000 people. Some heard about the news while running basic errands. Others spent their evening waiting outside hospital doors for news about their loved ones.

And some, like a man named Brandon, were almost face-to-face with the gunman.

“Out of nowhere, he just came in and there was a loud pop,” he told the Associated Press.

He had just entered Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley that was one of the locations where the shootings took place.

“I thought it was a balloon, I had my back turned to the door,” he said, but as he turned around and saw the suspect, he realised the sound he heard was that of a gun.

“I just booked it down the (bowling) lane and I slid basically where the pins are and climbed up into the machine,” Brandon said, before the police arrived 10 minutes later.

Riley Dumont was also inside the bowling alley with her family at the time of the shooting.

She told ABC News that her 11-year-old daughter had been taking part in a children’s bowling league when she heard several gunshots.

Her father, a retired police officer, had then corralled their family into a corner.

“I was laying on top of my daughter,” Ms Dumont said. “My mother was laying on top of me.”

She said the shooting “felt like it lasted a lifetime.”

“I just remember people sobbing and crying, people around me were whimpering, and my mom and I were just trying to keep everybody quiet and consoling each other,” Ms Dumont said.

Among those who were injured is Jessica Karcher’s 23-year-old son. The mother told the Washington Post that he was hit at Schemengees Bar and Grille, the other location where the gunman opened fire.

Ms Karcher said her son was hit four times. He underwent emergency surgery and remains in critical condition.

Doctors have to “keep resuscitating him,” she said. “He’s not out of the woods.”

Those in close proximity to the shootings said they were also fearful of what was unfolding.

Melinda Small, owner of a bar that is a quarter-mile away from Just-In-Time Recreation, told NBC News she had locked the doors to her bar immediately after hearing there was an active shooter nearby.

She moved all 25 customers and employees away from the door, she said. Everyone sheltered in place until a police officer arrived to escort people out of the building.

“I am honestly in a state of shock. I am blessed that my team responded quickly and everyone is safe,” Ms Small said. “But at the same time, my heart is broken for this area and for what everyone is dealing with. I just feel numb.

Nichoel Wyman Arel was driving home past the bowling alley around the time of the shooting and told CNN she saw a person who looked like they had “blood all over them” but could not tell if they were hurt.

She added that her young daughter was with her at the time.

“She started crying and said, ‘This is a scary world we live in Mom.’ I’m like, ‘I know.'”

Ms Arel said she locked up the house when she got home, on the advice of the authorities while the suspected gunman was at large.

Shanna Cox, the president of the Lewiston Auburn Chamber of Commerce, told the BBC she was also sheltering at home with her children.

“Our shades are down, our doors are locked, our windows are locked,” said Ms Cox.

“We’ve got the majority of interior lights off and we’re ensuring that no-one’s leaving the home.”

Source : BBC