A Lewiston resident, Billie Jayne Cooke, who is running for city council, described the shocking turn of events in the city. After a mass shooting that reportedly claimed at least 22 lives and left dozens injured, the entire city was placed on lockdown.
Cooke recounted her experience, saying that she was leaving a public event on Wednesday night when she first learned of the attack, and the gunman was on the loose. As she made her way home, the city was filled with the blaring sirens of police vehicles and the thud of helicopters.
She expressed her shock at the unprecedented level of activity in the typically tranquil town. "We always say it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when, and you never think it's going to happen — and it did," added Cooke, reflecting the sentiment of the shocked Lewiston, Maine, residents.
While driving home, Cooke called one of her sons, and she shared how the sirens and helicopters continued to dominate the soundscape. She admitted that processing the unimaginable tragedy was a daunting task.
Cooke on the city
Cooke emphasized that Lewiston, with its population of fewer than 30,000, is fortunate to have two hospital centers within its city limits, despite its small size.
Riley Dumont, another resident, revealed that her 11-year-old daughter was at a children's bowling league in Lewiston when the shooting occurred. Her father, a former police officer, quickly shielded their family. "I was lying over my daughter," she said, "Mom was laying over me." She also witnessed several victims during the distressing incident.
Many people inside the city are shocked and can't believe what happened. This is a red alarm for everyone that it is necessary to raise security to the highest level, but most importantly to implement preventive measures so that these things do not happen. Individuals should have professional help, and it is necessary that we as a society notice the need for it.