At least 22 killed in Lewiston, Maine mass shootings, Latest World News - The New Paper

At least 22 killed in Lewiston, Maine mass shootings

LEWISTON, Maine – At least 22 people were killed and 50 to 60 were wounded on Wednesday in mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, NBC News reported, citing a Lewiston police source.

State and local police previously reported there had been an active shooter on Wednesday night and that they were searching for a suspect at large, but did not provide casualty figures.

“There is an active shooter in Lewiston,” Maine state police said on the social media platform X.

“We ask people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations.”

The Sun Journal, citing a Lewiston police spokesperson, reported shootings at three separate businesses: the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley, Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant, and a Walmart distribution centre.

The bowling alley is about 6.5km north of the bar, and the distribution centre is about 2.5km south of the bar.

The Lewiston Police Department posted three photographs of the suspect pointing what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle, in addition to a picture of a white SUV, asking the public for help in identifying either.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office also posted pictures of the suspect, a bearded man in a long-sleeved shirt and jeans holding a rifle in the firing position.

The Central Maine Medical Centre in Lewiston issued a statement saying it was “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter event” and coordinating with area hospitals to take patients.

Lewiston is part of Androscoggin County and about 56km north of Maine’s largest city, Portland.

President Joe Biden has been briefed and will continue to receive updates, a US official said in Washington.

Maine Governor Janet Mills said in a statement she had been briefed on the situation.

If the death toll of 22 is confirmed, the massacre would be the deadliest in the United States since at least August 2019, when a gunman opened fire on shoppers at an El Paso Walmart with an AK-47 rifle, killing 23 in a shooting that prosecutors branded an anti-Hispanic hate crime, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The number of US shootings in which four or more people were shot has surged since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, with 647 occurring in 2022 and 679 projected to occur in 2023, based on trends as of July, according to data from the archive.

The deadliest US mass shooting on record is the massacre of 58 people by a gunman firing on a Las Vegas country music festival from a high-rise hotel perch in 2017. - REUTERS