Eighteen people were killed and 13 were injured in Wednesday nights shootings
On Thursday afternoon, as the manhunt for the suspect in Wednesday evening's mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, continued, grieving area residents remained on high alert.
Mary Graziano Richard, who owns a restaurant in nearby Lisbon, one of several towns to be placed on lockdown after a "vehicle of interest" was found in the town, says the mood in the area is "eerie."
"It’s different from the pandemic,” Richard, who owns Grazi To Go, tells PEOPLE. “Because during the pandemic, people were locked in but they would still go out.”
Eighteen people were killed and 13 were injured during the shootings, which took place at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar and Grille, about four miles away.
The suspect, Robert Card, was described by Governor Janet Mills as being "armed and dangerous." He remained at large Thursday afternoon, as a shelter in place issued earlier by the Maine Department of Public Safety was extended.
Richard says her teenage daughter is at home while schools are closed for the day. The 15-year-old was in constant communication with her soccer team on Thursday evening as the horrific events were unfolding, Richard says.
They were chatting late into the night, “sharing details that they heard, most of which were untrue,” she says.
The kids were panicked because of the helicopters overhead and police cars speeding by.
As a mother of a teenager, she says the bowling alley being attacked was “terrifying.”
“The thought of kids being just out having a good time, and then something this terrifying happening — even if they weren't injured, the trauma that’s going to be on them from seeing this happen is probably never going to go away,” she says.
On Thursday afternoon, Richard was preparing four remaining orders that had been placed from the day before, while also preparing pasta and meatballs to take down to the police station.
Paul Englehart, who lives about 300 yards from the bowling alley on an adjacent street, says his 9-year-old son saw an alert about an active shooter while playing on his tablet and wanted to help protect his family.
“God bless him, he makes me smile,” Englehart said of his son. “He literally stacked up his Nerf guns and was like ‘I’ll protect you.’”
Englehart didn't go into work on Thursday. “None of us right now feel safe,” he says.
The suspect is a Petroleum Supply Specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve, Army Spokesman Bryce Dubee tells PEOPLE. Eight of the fatal victims have been identified, so an arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect on eight counts of murder.
The Associated Press, citing a state police bulletin, reports the suspect is a military-trained firearms instructor who had recently been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this past summer.
According to the bulletin, the suspect had threatened to perpetrate a shooting at a military base in Saco, Maine. The bulletin also says the suspect had said he'd heard voices.
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