Shooting Survivor: 'Nobody Knew What It Was'

One man hid among the bowling alley machinery until police came
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2023 1:56 PM CDT
Survivor Recounts Hiding in Bowling Lane Machinery
Police officers speak with a motorist at a roadblock Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Lisbon, Maine, during a manhunt for the suspect of Wednesday's mass shootings. The shootings took place at a restaurant and bowling alley in nearby Lewiston, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

As the manhunt continues in Maine for the gunman who killed at least 18 at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston, stories from those who survived the shootings and about those who did not were surfacing:

  • A man who identifies himself only as Brandon tells the AP that he hadn't been in the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley long before he heard popping sounds. "I had my back turned to the door. And as soon as I turned and saw it was not a balloon—he was holding a weapon—I just booked it," he says. "I slid basically into where the pins are," he said, and he stayed in the machinery until police arrived. "I was putting on my bowling shoes when when it started. I've been barefoot for five hours."

  • The brother of Tricia Asselin, 53, tells CNN that his sister is among the fatalities at the bowling alley. "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," says DJ Johnson. "That was just her. She wasn't going to run. She was going to try and help."
  • Another survivor at the bowling alley tells the Washington Post that her father, a retired police officer, immediately recognized the gunfire and hustled the family into a corner and set up tables to protect them. "I was laying on top of my daughter," says Riley Dumont. "My mother was laying on top of me. It felt like it lasted a lifetime. … I just remember people sobbing, shaking."
  • "I thought it was, like, a table crashing on the floor or something," says another at the alley, Chad Vincent, per the New York Times. "Nobody really screamed. Nobody knew what it was."
  • Minutes after the shooting there, police say the gunman went to Schemengees Bar and Grille a few miles away, where it was cornhole night. "It was just a fun night playing cornhole," says owner Kathy Lebel, per the Guardian. "My heart is crushed," she later wrote on social media. "I am at a loss for words. In a split second your world gets turn upside down."
(More Maine mass shooting stories.)

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