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Tragedy Strikes Lewiston, Maine: Deadliest Mass Shooting of 2023 Claims 18 Lives and Sparks Calls for Gun Control Reform

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On Wednesday night, tragedy struck the city of Lewiston, Maine, as a multi-location mass shooting event unfolded, leaving at least 18 people dead and 13 more injured. This incident now stands as the single deadliest shooting incident in 2023, adding to the alarming number of over 500 mass shootings that have occurred nationwide this year.[0]

The shooting took place at various locations, including a bowling alley where Zoey was practicing and a local bar.[1] Officials believe that at least 18 people have lost their lives, and 13 others have been injured. The exact details of the events are still emerging, but it is believed that the shooting spree occurred at two separate locations within the small city of Lewiston.

At a press conference, State Police Col. William G. Ross confirmed that 18 people were killed and 13 injured in the shootings that took place at the bowling alley and the bar.[1] The city of Lewiston, which is Maine's second-largest municipality, has a population of over 37,000 according to the 2020 U.S. census.[2] It is located between Portland, the most populous municipality in Maine, and the state capital of Augusta.[3]

Lewiston is situated approximately two hours north of Boston and 30 miles north of Portland.[4] The shocking events that unfolded in this otherwise peaceful city have left the community in a state of shock and grief.

According to reports, the shooting spree began at around 7 p.m. at Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant. The gunman then moved on to Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley located around four miles away.[0] In total, 18 people lost their lives in the shootings, and 13 others were injured. Authorities have identified only eight of the deceased thus far.[2]

The suspected shooter has been named as Robert Card, a 40-year-old former Army reservist.[0] Card has no combat deployment history and worked as a firearms instructor at a National Guard facility.[0] As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, he remains at large, and officials are urging residents of Lewiston and the surrounding areas to shelter in place as the search for Card continues.[0]

Eyewitnesses recount harrowing moments of the shooting, with one man hiding in the machinery of the bowling alley to escape the violence.[5] The devastating impact of this mass shooting has prompted a response from local politicians, including State Rep. Jared Golden. Golden, whose district includes Lewiston, called on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by the shooter.[6]

In a press conference, Golden admitted that his previous opposition to gun control measures was based on several misjudgments, including a fear of the dangerous world and a false confidence that his community was immune to such violence.[7] However, in the wake of this tragedy, he recognizes the need for stricter gun control laws.

The mass shooting in Lewiston has also garnered attention from the highest levels of government. President Biden spoke to Maine's governor and members of Congress representing the state, offering full federal support in response to this horrific event.[8] The White House has stated that President Biden is closely monitoring the situation and remains committed to taking action to prevent further acts of gun violence.

As the nation grapples with yet another senseless act of violence, the focus now turns to finding solutions and preventing future tragedies. The incident in Lewiston serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive gun control reform and addressing the root causes of these mass shootings. The safety and well-being of communities across the country depend on swift and decisive action to prevent further loss of life.

0. “Maine Shooting Is Among This Year’s Deadliest—As U.S. Tops 500 Mass Shootings In 2023” Forbes, 26 Oct. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/anafaguy/2023/10/26/maine-mass-shooting-is-among-this-years-deadliest-as-us-tops-500-shootings-in-2023

1. “10-year-old girl, mom barricaded themselves inside room to survive Maine shooting” ABC News, 26 Oct. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/10-year-girl-survived-maine-shooting-asks-people/story?id=104347472

2. “Maine shootings: 18 dead, governor says, with suspect still at large” Axios, 26 Oct. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/10/26/lewiston-maine-shootings

3. “Convoy departs after dramatically surrounding Maine property amid manhunt for Robert Card” WCVB Boston, 27 Oct. 2023, https://www.wcvb.com/article/lewiston-maine-shooting-gunman-manhunt-robert-card/45658874

4. “Multiple counties in lockdown amid manhunt for Lewiston, Maine shooting suspect Robert Card” CBS Boston, 26 Oct. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/robert-card-lewiston-maine-shootings-search-lockdown-bowdoin-lisbon-bates/

5. “Bar Manager Who Tried to Stop Maine Gunman Was a ‘Hero,' Says Father” PEOPLE, 26 Oct. 2023, https://people.com/maine-shooting-bar-manager-joseph-walker-tried-stop-gunman-was-hero-says-father-8383452

6. “Maine Shooting: Rep. Jared Golden Issues Stunning Apology After Robert Card's Sniper Rampage” The Daily Beast, 27 Oct. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/maine-shooting-rep-jared-golden-issues-stunning-apology-after-robert-cards-sniper-rampage

7. “Jared Golden drops opposition to assault weapons ban after Lewiston shootings” NBC News, 27 Oct. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/jared-golden-drops-opposition-assault-weapons-ban-lewiston-shootings-rcna122423

8. “At least 15 killed in Maine mass shooting, police still searching for shooter” WRAL News, 26 Oct. 2023, https://www.wral.com/story/at-least-15-killed-in-maine-mass-shooting-police-still-searching-shooter/21115699

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