'You can't even go out': Maine residents reeling from Lewiston shootings
Residents of Lewiston, Maine, and surrounding communities are shaken and anxious after a man shot and killed at least 18 people on Wednesday night, leading to a massive search for the suspect and shelter-in-place advisories in many areas.
The city looked abandoned on Thursday morning, with desolate parking lots outside the Shaws supermarket and the Lewiston Mall as a helicopter circled overhead.
Lewiston resident Jennifer Clark said she stayed inside watching the news until about 2 a.m. before trying to fall asleep.
Amanda Marinko of Yarmouth was also up all night. She said she has been trying to process her own feelings and comfort her teenage daughter.
“My daughter is 16, and she's been up all night restless and, you know, not really confused, but just uncertain,” Marinko said. “And I had told her, ‘No school for you, even if school was open.’ And that helped her a little bit. But I don't know.”
With classes canceled, 13-year-old Nick Boisvert also stayed home. He spent the day with his grandparents, listening to police scanners and gathering as much information as he could find on the situation.
“It definitely worries me cause we're in such, like, a small area that he could be anywhere,” Nick said. “We've been thinking he could — he could possibly see us, but we couldn't see him. He could hear us, and we couldn't hear him. He can be anywhere.”
Larry Conrad of Lewiston was also feeling uncertain Thursday morning.
“You don't go out anywhere and you don't know if he's gonna do it again because he's still out there,” Conrad said. “You can't even go out and enjoy yourself anymore without looking over your shoulder all the time.”
Patrica Shuttlesworth moved to Maine with her husband after a mass shooting in their prior hometown of Newtown, Connecticut.
“After Newtown — which is just this little idyllic little town in Connecticut — you know that there is no safe place,” Shuttlesworth said. “I know, unfortunately, that none of us are ever safe doing anything. And that's incredibly saddening.”
Wendy Hart, who is visiting Maine from Lebanon, Tennessee, also reflected on the Lewiston killings within the context of other mass shootings.
“Nashville just went through this with an elementary school,” Hart said. “It's kind of shocking, and it's something that I don't want us to get used to and it gets brushed under the rug.”
Phillip Martin contributed reporting.
This story was originally published by GBH. It was shared as part of the New England News Collaborative.