The first three victims of the Maine mass shooting have been confirmed as a retired mechanic who was a children’s bowling coach, a mom-of-one bowling alley employee who was shot while calling 911 and a bar manager.
Bob Violette, 76, was killed in the massacre that erupted inside Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and Schemengee’s Bar and Grille on Wednesday evening, according to his daughter-in-law Cassandra.
The second confirmed victim is Tricia Asselin, 53, who worked at the bowling alley.
Relatives confirmed that the third victim was Joseph Walker, 57, who was a bar manager at Schemengee’s.
A multi-agency manhunt for the suspected gunman, Robert Card, 40, is underway. He used an AR-15-style rifle to unleash a barrage of bullets around 7pm Wednesday at two different sites in the small Maine city.
At least 18 people have been confirmed dead – making the horrific scenes in Lewiston, Maine, the deadliest mass shooting in the country this year.
Retired mechanic Bob Violette, 76, was one of the victims in the massacre, according to his daughter-in-law Cassandra. He was a keen bowler, and played in a couple’s bowling league with his wife when they retired
Tricia Asselin, 53, the second confirmed victim, was a part-time worker at Just-In-Time Recreation in Lewiston. She was bowling when the gunman came in and opened fire
Police have named previously sectioned Army reserve firearms instructor Robert Card, 40, as a person of interest. Card is from Bowdoin, and his car was found abandoned in Lisbon shortly after the shooting
Violette was born and raised in Lewiston and married his wife Lucy almost 50 years ago. They shared three sons, Andrew, Tom and John, along with six grandchildren.
He was a keen bowler, and played in a couple’s bowling league with his wife when they retired.
Bob also set up a youth bowling league at Sparetime Recreation – which was one of the places targeted in the mass shooting last night.
Violette spent his time coaching kids at bowling, and he was remembered as someone who ‘passed away doing what he loved.’
Speaking about her father-in-law, Cassandra told the Portland Press Herald: ‘He wouldn’t let you walk out the door without giving him a hug, and a kiss on the cheek.
‘He was just there for everything.’
Bob loved his wife, and his ‘first thought every day was her.’ He also loved his grandchildren dearly, Cassandra said.
According to the outlet, Bob was trying to protect kids at the alley, and his wife Lucy was injured on Wednesday night.
Bob set up a youth bowling league at Sparetime Recreation – which was one of the places targeted in the mass shooting last night
Violette spent his time coaching kids at bowling, and he was remembered as someone who ‘passed away doing what he loved’
Tricia was shot while calling 911 to alert emergency services to the mass shooting, her brother said
DJ Johnson, the victim’s brother, said his sister Tricia ‘was the rock of the family’ and ‘kept everyone on an even keel
The rampage has left at least 18 people dead and 13 more injured. Officials were seen wheeling a body bag out of Schemengees on Thursday morning
Tributes poured in for the beloved bowler. Brandon Dubuc wrote: ‘Bob Violette was one of the kindest souls in the bowling community in Lewiston. He would have done anything for the kids in the community and he genuinely loved coaching them.
‘Bob passed away doing what he loved. He is a hero in my book. Much love to all of Bob’s family, friends, and those that were touched by him throughout the community. Rest in peace Bob. I am so very sorry.’
Sarah Vincent also wrote in tribute: ‘Bob Violette you will be truly missed. Not only were a customer of mine from the alley for many years you were also a friend. I cant wrap my head around this. May you rest in peace my friend.’
Tricia Asselin, 53, the second confirmed victim, was a part-time worker at Just-In-Time Recreation in Lewiston. She was bowling when the gunman came in and opened fire.
Asselin’s brother DJ Johnson confirmed her death to CNN, and said that his other sister was also at the bowling alley but she was able to escape.
Johnson said his sister Tricia ‘was the rock of the family’ and ‘kept everyone on an even keel.
He added: ‘If there was an argument going on, she would be the one to calm everyone down.
‘If somebody was having a bad day, she would be right on the phone to talk to you about it.’
Her brother said: ‘What I’m told is that when it all started happening, she ran up to the counter and started to call 911, and that’s when she was shot.
‘That was just her. She wasn’t going to run. She was going to try and help.’
Tricia was also remembered as a devoted mother-of-one.
DJ Johnson said: ‘She and I talked probably three or four times a week and we texted every day. Her son was her entire life. From the day he was born to yesterday. She did everything for him … he was her world.’
Tricia’s mother, Alicia Lachance, told Rolling Stone: ‘She ran to get her phone to call 911 to save the kids, and she was shot.
‘It’s very emotional, but Tricia is the type of person who would have done anything for children and anybody. At her work at Walmart years ago, she gave mouth-to-mouth to a guy who was dead for 20 minutes because she was trying to revive him.’
Survivors and bereaved family members have begun speaking out following the bloody massacre at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston, the state’s second city
The body of a victim in the Maine massacre shooting which killed at least 18 people has been wheeled out of the bar targeted by the gunman – as cops fear he may have crossed into Massachusetts with a ‘nightscope’
The third victim to be identified was Joseph Walker, 57, who was the son of Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker.
He was a bar manager at Schemengee’s and was working when gunfire broke out, reports CBS News.
Brenda Lee Henry, his sister, wrote in tribute: ‘I love you brother oh why we had a 5 year plan we were going to do big plans.
‘My big brother I love you, You always had my back and Zi had yours. I’m so lost right now. I will take care of Tracey Walker I promise.
‘I know you’re telling me to stop crying and calling me names. My heart is broken.’
Leroy, his father, told NBC Boston that he was informed his son had died.
One of his employees Olivia Guadagno, paid tribute to Joseph, who she said was a ‘great boss’ who was ‘generous and fatherly.’
She said: ‘Just got the most devastating news, that I was hoping and praying was inaccurate. My boss at Schemengees and the station grill, Joseph Walker passed away.
‘He was a great boss, the generous and fatherly type. He was a great time, always joking and poking fun.
‘Joey impacted every single one of us. A hard a** on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside. I appreciate all of the support Joe has given me, I appreciate the second chance he gave me, and all of the memories that came with it.
‘I am so sorry Joe. I am so heartbroken over this. You didn’t deserve this, none of us did.’
There is still a heavy police presence outside the Central Maine Medical Center, with cops standing at every entrance with high powered rifles following the shooting.
The hospital is under lock down and no visitors are allowed.
The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Homeland Security and other federal agents have joined the search for the shooter.
Lewiston, a small city of about 38,000, is also on lockdown as police hunt for Card, who was sectioned this summer with mental health issues.
He previously reported hearing voices and threatened to shoot up his National Guard base in Saco, Maine.
Police fear that the suspect Card may have crossed into Massachusetts with a ‘nightscope’. He is from Bowdoin, and his car was found abandoned in Lisbon shortly after the shooting.
They said a blue Chevy Suburban with a Maine registration plate 6625ZD believed to be carrying Card crossed into Massachusetts on the I-93 at 8:01 Thursday morning.
They described him as ‘believed to be armed and dangerous’.
A shelter in place advisory has been expanded from Lewiston to Lisbon and Bowdoin, with residents urged to remain inside as the gunman remains at large.
Officers were seen outside his home in nearby Bowdoin on Thursday morning, with swathes of roads across the state being shut down in a bid to apprehend the ‘highly skilled’ firearms specialist.
Officials were seen wheeling a body bag out of Schemengees on Thursday morning.
A distraught Maine councilor has said he knows his son was killed in the shooting – though authorities are yet to confirm – while a 10-year-old girl has spoken about being grazed by a stray bullet.
Leroy Walker, whose son managed Schemengees, said he is convinced his son is dead.
Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army reservist and firearms instructor, has been named as the suspect in the murder of 18 people in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday
CCTV images show how the shooter was armed with a rifle when he carried out the mass shooting
The gunman, wearing a brown hoodie, is seen in Lewiston on Wednesday night. Police believe it is Robert Card
‘If you had my gut right now, I feel like I’m squashed with a vice,’ Walker told NBC. ‘My neck in the back of my head feels like there’s a vice squashing it the other way.’
‘And I don’t know, telling you the truth, what kind of night this is going to be from now until tomorrow when I wake up to the true facts that my son is dead – and I know he’s dead.
‘I know it as well as I know I’m standing here telling you because he’s not here and he’s not at any other hospital and he’s not running the streets or he would have called us, because he manages Schemengees, so I know he was there.’
Meanwhile, 10-year-old Zoey questioned ‘why do people do this’ as she sat beside her mother the morning after they survived the shocking attack at the bowling alley as their city remains on lockdown.
‘I never thought I’d grow up and get a bullet in my leg,’ Zoey told CNN. ‘Like, why do people do this?
Residents of both Lewiston and nearby Lisbon and Bowdoin have been advised to not go outside on Thursday morning as the the gunman remains at large
A woman is hugged by a man at a reunification center at Auburn Middle School after shootings in Lewiston
‘I was more worried about, like, am I going to live and I going to make it out of here. Like, what’s going to happen? Are the cops going to come?’
Survivor Riley Dumont said her 11-year-old daughter was playing in the children’s bowling league when she heard several gunshots. She told ABC News her father, a retired police officer, rushed the family into a corner.
‘I kind of laid on top of (my daughter), and my mom was kind of on top of me. We had two other kids with us and two other mothers as well,’ Dumont said. At least seven people were killed in the first shooting.
Detectives said they are looking into cellphone signals, social media and electronic records to build a timeline of his movements before the shooting.
The mayor of Auburn, a town next to Lewistown, said on TODAY that some of the witnesses thought the rampage was a Halloween prank.
Jason Levesque said: ‘They thought it was some sort of Halloween joke or something, the initial pops if you would, until everything started escalating quite rapidly.’