Mixed Feelings of Relief and Sorrow as Maine Community Emerges After Shooting Suspect Found Deceased

by Gabriel Martinez
Maine Shooting Aftermath

A wave of relief coupled with underlying sorrow enveloped central Maine this Saturday following the announcement that the suspected gunman, accused of killing 18 people, had been discovered dead.

Inhabitants of Lewiston and neighboring municipalities had been cautioned to remain indoors since the night of Wednesday, after authorities identified Robert Card as the individual who initiated fatal shootings at a local bowling alley and subsequently a bar, leaving an additional 13 people injured. Card’s lifeless body was located on Friday at a recycling facility in the nearby town of Lisbon.

With the lifting of the lockdown, many individuals seized the opportunity to spend time outdoors on what proved to be a balmy autumn day.

Jim Howaniec, a lifelong resident of Lewiston and a former mayor during the early 1990s, commented, “We now have the space to begin recovering and start the mourning process. For 48 hours, we were suspended in a state of uncertainty—though a brief period, it felt interminably long.”

Melissa Brown, who likened the experience to the 2002 sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., expressed similar sentiments. “The ordeal resurfaced past traumas and instilled new fears in the place we now consider home,” she said. Brown welcomed the opportunity to engage in morning outdoor activities but maintained, “Our aspiration to live without trepidation remains overshadowed by the gravity of the recent events. Our sympathies lie deeply with all who are affected.”

A family of four from southern Maine took it upon themselves to distribute flowers to random individuals in downtown Lewiston. While some declined their offerings, others reciprocated with embraces. “If even one individual finds solace through this act, it validates our effort,” stated Gabe Hirst, 21, of Gray.

Local educator Christal Pele expressed reservations about how to discuss the tragedy with her students. She observed that while the community appeared more cordial in the aftermath, a prevailing sense of sadness was palpable.

In an act signifying the lingering gloom, an anonymous individual left a note on a café table, reading: “We Love You Lewiston. It’s OK to not be OK.”

For those who either lost dear ones or were direct witnesses to the dreadful events, normality seemed an elusive state. A planned community Halloween event at a local armory was repurposed into a family assistance center.

Tammy Asselin, who was present during the bowling alley attack, revealed that while relieved by the news of Card’s demise, she also mourned the loss of potential understanding. “We are now commencing the healing journey, a challenging but ultimately strengthening experience,” she said.

As dusk settled, approximately 150 individuals convened for a candlelight vigil in a grassy field in Lisbon Falls, close to where Card’s body was discovered. Joey Rossignol, a new resident of Lisbon, noted his prior experience with the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, stating, “I never anticipated experiencing a similar form of lockdown in Maine.”

Earlier on Saturday, William Brackett Sr., whose son was among the casualties, found his longstanding anger beginning to dissipate. “The realization that the suspect is no longer a threat brings a modicum of relief,” he noted, “although full recovery remains an elusive goal.”

Reporting from Concord, New Hampshire, was contributed by Ramer. Additional coverage was provided by Big Big News journalists Michelle R. Smith, David R. Martin, and Robert Bumsted from Lewiston.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Maine Shooting Aftermath

What is the central event discussed in the article?

The central event discussed in the article is the aftermath of a mass shooting in central Maine, specifically in Lewiston and neighboring municipalities. The shooting suspect, identified as Robert Card, was found dead after being accused of killing 18 people and wounding 13 others.

Who is the suspected gunman and what happened to him?

The suspected gunman is identified as Robert Card. Authorities found his lifeless body at a recycling facility in Lisbon, Maine, after he had been on the loose for two days following the shootings.

How did the residents of Maine respond to the lifting of the lockdown?

Many residents took advantage of the lifting of the lockdown to go outside and enjoy the warm autumn day. However, the community’s overall sentiment was mixed, with a blend of relief and ongoing sorrow.

Who are some of the individuals quoted in the article?

Jim Howaniec, a former mayor of Lewiston, and Melissa Brown, a resident who compared the event to past experiences in Washington, D.C., are among those quoted. Other voices include Gabe Hirst, who was handing out flowers, and Tammy Asselin, a survivor of the bowling alley shooting.

What community actions have been taken in the wake of the tragedy?

One notable community action mentioned is a family from southern Maine handing out flowers to strangers in downtown Lewiston as a gesture of goodwill. Additionally, an armory initially slated to host a Halloween event was converted into a family assistance center.

How are educational institutions planning to address the event?

Local educator Christal Pele expressed uncertainty about how to approach the topic of the shooting with her students when classes resume.

Was there any public memorial or gathering after the event?

Yes, about 150 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in a grassy field in Lisbon Falls, near where the body of the suspect was found.

How are people dealing with the emotional aftermath of the event?

People are dealing with mixed feelings of relief and sorrow. While some are finding comfort in community actions and gatherings, a sense of sadness and heaviness lingers among the residents.

What kind of journalistic contributions were made to the article?

The article was primarily reported from Concord, New Hampshire, by a journalist named Ramer. Additional contributions were made by Big Big News journalists Michelle R. Smith, David R. Martin, and Robert Bumsted, who reported from Lewiston.

More about Maine Shooting Aftermath

  • Emotional Aftermath of Mass Shootings
  • Maine Community Coping Strategies
  • Timeline of the Maine Shooting
  • Psychological Effects of Community Trauma
  • Understanding Lockdown Procedures and Their Impact
  • Former Mass Shootings in the United States
  • How Educational Institutions Handle Traumatic Events

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Sarah Williams October 29, 2023 - 2:37 am

This article hit home for me. having lived through a similar event, the community’s reaction feels so familiar. There’s a long road of healing ahead.

Steven M October 29, 2023 - 3:05 am

This was a deep dive. The community reactions especially were poignant. How can someone just hand out flowers one day after something like this? But then again, maybe thats what we need.

David Lee October 29, 2023 - 10:14 am

Kudos to the reporter for being so thorough. But really, when will this end? The more we hear, the more we become numb to it. that’s what scares me.

Emily R October 29, 2023 - 11:32 am

I think its important the article talks about the emotional side of things too, not just the facts. We all need to understand the impact on people’s lives.

John H October 29, 2023 - 2:48 pm

Excellent reporting, very detailed. But man, it’s just heartbreaking to hear about events like this. How many more times do we have to go thru this?

Grace K October 29, 2023 - 5:50 pm

I appreciate the FAQ section. Gets straight to the point for those who might be skimming. but i hope people take time to read the whole thing.

Mike Thompson October 29, 2023 - 9:50 pm

Wow, what a read. it really captures the mix of emotions people must be feeling. Relief that its over, but so much sorrow for what happened.


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