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Residents of Maine Convene for Sunday Worship to Seek Solace After Unprecedented Mass Killing Claims 18 Lives

by Joshua Brown
2 comments
Maine Mass Shooting

Scores of individuals from Maine congregated for Sunday religious services to seek spiritual solace and communal support in the aftermath of a devastating week marked by the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history. The assailant, a 40-year-old man named Robert Card, had claimed the lives of 18 of their fellow citizens.

The religious service at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston was inaugurated by Rev. Daniel Greenleaf with a moment of silence. Greenleaf conveyed to the assembly the importance of collective prayer, especially following the tense period of lockdown enforced during the police manhunt for Card.

Within the spacious sanctuary, some female attendees wore black veils as a mark of mourning. Church officials disclosed that a fundraising campaign is underway to provide financial aid to the victims and others adversely affected by these tragic events in their tight-knit community.

In his homily, Greenleaf iterated the importance of faith, particularly in times of crisis. “We glimpse rays of light even in the darkest moments,” he said. Greenleaf acknowledged the limitations of human intervention by stating, “We cannot rectify this situation; human beings are not mere mechanisms to be repaired.”

During a particular segment of the worship service, congregants were encouraged by the clergy to turn to each other and extend a peace sign, symbolized by raising two fingers.

Authorities discovered Card’s body on Friday in a trailer at a recycling facility in Lisbon Falls. The cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, although the exact timing remains uncertain. Card is also accused of injuring 13 other individuals during his shooting spree, which occurred on a Wednesday evening in Lewiston.

Law enforcement officials recovered an array of firearms during their search for Card. Jim Ferguson, the Special Agent in charge of the Boston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, confirmed that Card had legally acquired his weapons but refrained from disclosing further details about the firearms.

While the motive behind this mass killing remains the subject of ongoing investigation, focus has increasingly shifted toward an examination of Card’s mental health. Michael Sauschuck, the State Department of Public Safety Commissioner, indicated that Card had been experiencing auditory hallucinations and exhibited symptoms of paranoia.

Family members informed federal investigators that Card had recently been discussing hearing voices and had grown increasingly fixated on a local bowling alley and bar, according to confidential law enforcement sources.

On the following Saturday, a semblance of normality began to re-emerge in the Lewiston community of 37,000 residents. Local authorities had previously missed two opportunities to expedite the lifting of the lockdown by failing to locate Card’s body during their initial searches.

For the community, it was a day for contemplation, mourning, and cautious steps towards a return to everyday life. Various activities were observed, ranging from hunting to floral tributes downtown. Spontaneous memorials also sprouted near the crime scene, drawing visitors who sought to honor the victims.

Among those visiting the memorial was William Brackett, whose son, sharing his name, was one of the casualties. Brackett spoke candidly about the emotional relief he experienced upon learning of Card’s demise. His son had been a profoundly deaf individual who never allowed his condition to restrict his life pursuits, including engagement in multiple sports.

The staggering toll of the shooting has shaken Maine, a state with 1.3 million residents known for its relatively low rates of violent crime, recording only 29 homicides throughout 2022.

Three of the injured victims are currently in critical condition at Central Maine Medical Center, while another is stable. Additional patients have been discharged or transferred to other medical facilities.

Lifting of the stay-at-home order occurred on Friday afternoon, shortly before the announcement confirming the discovery of Card’s body at the Maine Recycling Corp.

The Lewiston incident marks the 36th mass killing in the United States for this year, as tracked by a database collaboratively maintained by AP and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. The database catalogues all mass killings since 2006, involving any weapon, where four or more people, not including the perpetrator, are killed within a 24-hour period.


Contributions to this report were made by journalists David R. Martin and Matt Rourke in Lewiston, Maine, and Michael Casey in Boston.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Maine Mass Shooting

What was the location of the mass shooting mentioned in the text?

The mass shooting took place in Lewiston, Maine.

How many people lost their lives in this tragic event?

A total of 18 people tragically lost their lives in this mass shooting.

What role did the clergy play in the aftermath of the shooting?

Rev. Daniel Greenleaf led Sunday religious services at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, providing spiritual support and comfort to the community.

Were there any details about the assailant’s background or motive?

The authorities were still investigating the motive behind the mass shooting, with a focus on the assailant’s mental health history, including reports of auditory hallucinations and paranoia.

How did the community respond to the tragedy?

Residents of Lewiston, Maine, engaged in various activities, including hunting and floral tributes, as they began the process of healing and returning to normalcy.

What is the significance of the peace sign mentioned in the text?

During the worship service, congregants were prompted by the clergy to turn to each other and raise two fingers in a peace sign as a symbolic gesture of unity and hope.

How does this mass shooting compare to previous incidents in Maine?

This mass shooting stands out as the deadliest in Maine’s history, a state known for its relatively low rates of violent crime, recording only 29 homicides throughout the previous year.

Were there any updates on the condition of the injured victims?

Three of the injured victims remained in critical condition at Central Maine Medical Center, while others were either stable, discharged, or transferred to different medical facilities.

What is the significance of the stay-at-home order mentioned in the text?

The stay-at-home order had been imposed during the extensive police search for the assailant and was lifted shortly before authorities located the suspect’s body.

How does this mass shooting compare to national statistics?

The Lewiston mass shooting marked the 36th mass killing in the United States for that year, as documented by a database maintained by AP and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University, tracking incidents involving four or more people killed within a 24-hour period.

More about Maine Mass Shooting

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2 comments

EconGuru October 30, 2023 - 8:46 am

thos stats on Maine’s crime are surprisin, we need safety

Reply
CryptoExpert October 30, 2023 - 10:47 am

no mention of crypto here, but still impt news

Reply

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