LEWISTON — The shootings last month that left 18 dead in Lewiston took a toll far beyond the city lines.

While five of those killed during the Oct. 25 shooting spree lived in Lewiston, more than two-thirds of the victims hailed from other places.

They lived in many towns in central and western Maine, from South Paris to South China.

What the victims had in common was simply showing up to bowl at Just-In-Time Recreation or to enjoy themselves at Schemengees Bar & Grille, the two venues in Lewiston where innocents fell in a hail of bullets over the span of about 20 minutes.

In the aftermath of the massacre, the lion’s share of the attention has focused on Lewiston, from a visit by President Joe Biden in his role as mourner-in-chief to network news anchors broadcasting from the shattered city.

But Lewiston didn’t suffer alone.


People embrace Nov. 1 at Winthrop High School before a vigil for three local victims of last month’s mass shooting in Lewiston. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“The impact has certainly been felt across the region and it seems like every day we learn of a new connection to the tragedy,” said Amy Landry, executive director of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments.

“To lose some of our own to this senseless tragedy is beyond devastating,” Lisbon Town Manager Glenn Michalowski said.

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque said it is “critical for folks to realize the geographically broad impact this had on central Maine.”

“This was not just Lewiston’s tragedy,” he said, “nor is it their burden to bear alone.”

Four Maine municipalities experienced the loss of at least two residents: Auburn, Sabattus, Lisbon and Winthrop.

Another four Maine towns — Bath, South Paris, Brunswick and South China — each lost one.


One other victim, Keith Macneir, lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was visiting his son when he had the misfortune of crossing paths with a killer at Schemengees.

Landry said there are “many connections to the tragedy” throughout the region.

“People inevitably know someone who was impacted in some way,” she said. “We are all neighbors, and many have friends, family or co-workers” who are hurting in the wake of the shootings, including first responders who “came from all over the region” to help.

“We are reminded of how close-knit we are as a state and a region, and we draw on those connections to support each other in these difficult times,” Landry said.


In addition to losing two of its own in the shooting spree, Lisbon also became the central site in the search for the killer — the place where he dumped his car and apparently hid out for a day and a half before shooting himself in a recycling company’s trailer.


“I feel like I’ve lost my innocence,” said Jo-Jean Keller, a town councilor in Lisbon. “I always felt that we’d never experience something like this in Maine.”

Mackenzie Tittle of Lisbon Falls, writing in a memorable but overlooked essay on Medium, said a neighbor — a volunteer firefighter who lived across the street — knocked on their door not long after the last shots rang out at Schemengees.

“Active shooter. Left Lewiston heading South, straight toward us. Lock your doors, lock your windows, keep everyone inside — I’m telling everyone with kids first,” Tittle recalled him saying, as he breathed heavily from running door-to-door.

“I lock the front door, the back door, every window in the house, draw the curtains, turn off all the lights and sit back down next to my wife,” Tittle wrote.

Don Fellows, a town councilor in Lisbon, said it’s “hard to put to words the emotions that went through my head when I heard of the shooting” that evening.

“My immediate thoughts were that it seemed somewhat like an ‘out-of-body’ experience,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that Lewiston could ever expect to have such an active shooter event.”


Lisbon Town Councilor Don Fellows looks toward the boat launch on the Sabattus River where Robert Card ditched his car after his killing spree in Lewiston last month. It is speculated that Card ditched his vehicle at the boat ramp nearby and possibly walked along the Paper Mill Trail where Fellows is standing. People were on edge during the following days after the murders as law enforcement looked for Card before finding his body about a mile from this spot. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Fellows said the company where he works in Scarborough trains people how to deal with possible scenarios like a mass shooting, but he never thought he would personally experience it in rural Maine.

“My next thoughts were about the poor victims and how very unlucky they were to be in the wrong spot,” he said, “and how senseless” and random it was.

He said he hoped the police would catch the killer right away.

As it turned, Fellows was on the phone with Lisbon police Chief Ryan McGee when the chief said he had to hang up “because they were approaching a suspicious vehicle” at a boat launch in town.

“Now it came home!” he said. “I thought ‘where is this guy and what could he be doing? Everybody in town should lock their doors and make sure they hide. But hide from what, the darkness of the night?'”

The shooter had stopped in Lisbon, near walking trails that many residents use regularly, including Fellows. He said people knew there were lots of hiding places in the vicinity so it was especially scary to live nearby.


Tittle wrote that the killer “could be in our backyard or the neighbor’s or at the Domino’s. He could be anywhere.”

“I’m not sure anyone in Lisbon Falls slept that night,” he added.


Fellows said the next morning, he began driving to work at 4 a.m. and immediately faced a roadblock on Route 196 as he headed east on the main road to Brunswick. As he diverted around town, he began listening to radio reports about the shooting.

“I almost turned around to go home but my wife said she was safe,” Fellows said. “What a fool I was.”

“She couldn’t have been safe from this shooter, and neither could I or any other town resident,” he said.

Like Lewiston and some other locales, Lisbon was under orders for everything to shut down and, for everyone who could, to stay home. There were police everywhere, with helicopters overhead, tactical units shifting around from one possible location to the next, and officers watching for a clue.


“As things dragged on,” Fellows said, people thought Card had slipped away.

“Personally, I am glad that we did not know he was still alive and in town,” he said. “We would have been more on edge.”

It remains unclear where Card was from leaving his car at the boat launch to the moment when he pulled a trigger for the last time.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Councilor Keller said she feels thankful to be alive but also “grieving for those who lost their lives. I sometimes stop what I’m doing and send love to them.”

Keller said she hasn’t “been back to the walking path yet” near the site where Robert Card dumped his car and later took his life.

“I’m somewhat apprehensive about my reaction,” she said.


Michalowski said many members of the Lisbon community were left “shocked and grieving.”

The shooting, he said, “had a profound impact on the town of Lisbon” and “the shockwaves of this tragedy continue to be felt throughout our community.”

Michalowski said, too, that “the incident brought our community together, with neighbors supporting one another and showing strength in unity.”

Signs like these in front of the Lisbon Town Office and Police Station can be found along Route 196 in and throughout Lisbon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal


Harry Moore Jr., who chairs the Lisbon Town Council, said the thing he “found most heartening about our Lisbonites” during the crisis “is the confidence that they have in our law enforcement and town government.”

“They understood the reason for the shelter orders” while police searched for the killer, he said, “and didn’t hesitate to follow directions from our town manager and police chief.”

The shootings in Lewiston “fostered a newfound admiration and respect for our public safety team here in Lisbon,” Moore said.


Keller said she appreciates all the first responders “who protected us from further harm.”

Fellows said he feels particularly good about the handwritten notes of thanks that people wrote to first responders, many of them posted at the town’s police department.


It seems sometimes like it all just happened minutes ago, but time has passed.

The 13 wounded in the attack are all out of the hospital and the funerals of victims  nearly completed.

The first month anniversary is a week away.

Yet the wounds remain fresh, for survivors, for families and for the communities that lived through it.


Michalowski said “this despicable event” impacted residents and town staff alike.

The hallways in the Lisbon Police Station are lined with dozens of photos, letters and drawings in support of the police after the recent mass shooting in Lewiston and discovery of the suspect’s body in Lisbon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“We stand in support of our neighbors and friends from Lewiston and Auburn,” he added, “and we mourn each loss alongside those from across the state and country.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to all of the families and loved ones of each victim of this horrific event, and we hold each survivor in our hearts,” he said.

“Some of the victims included beloved members of this wonderful Lisbon community and will be missed beyond measure,” Michalowski said. “We are so honored that they chose to call Lisbon ‘home.’”

As a challenging holiday season approaches, he said, “It is imperative that we come together as a community, offering support, love, and strength to those suffering.”

“We will honor the memory of our beloved residents by spreading kindness, compassion and unity within our town as we continue to heal,” Michalowski said.

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