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26 Oct, 2023 01:07

Over 20 dead after multiple ‘active shooter events’ in US – media

Police have launched a manhunt and urged residents of Lewiston, Maine to shelter in their homes
Over 20 dead after multiple ‘active shooter events’ in US – media

Residents of Lewiston in the US state of Maine have been ordered to shelter in place amid a manhunt for an armed suspect involved in at least two mass shooting incidents, which reportedly claimed at least 22 lives on Wednesday evening.

The suspected shooter, a US-military trained weapons expert with a history of mental health problems, is still at large.

The shooting spree unfolded at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston, a city of about 36,000 people, at around 7pm local time. Authorities have yet to officially confirm the number of victims, but a local hospital confirmed it was “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter event.”

CNN reported that at least 22 people were killed and dozens injured, citing law enforcement sources. ABC News said at least 20 people were killed, while NBC and Fox News reported at least 22 fatalities.

“There is an active shooter in Lewiston. We ask people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations,” Maine State Police said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Authorities have released several photos of the suspected shooter, which showed a white male armed with a long rifle, wearing black trousers and a brown top.

“Law enforcement in Androscoggin County are investigating two active shooter events. We are encouraging all businesses to lock down and or close while we investigate,” the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office said in a post on Facebook.

Maine Governor Janet Mills has said that she was briefed on the situation and remains in “close contact with public safety officials,” urging “all people in the area to follow the direction of State and local law enforcement.”

President Joe Biden was also notified of the shootings and “will continue to receive updates” on the situation, according to a senior White House official.