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Maine community on edge as they shelter in place after shooting

The day after the mass shootings in Lewiston, the streets were empty of locals who are sheltering in place.
Maine community on edge as they shelter in place after shooting
Posted at 3:19 AM, Oct 27, 2023

There are still so many unknowns since the Lewiston, Maine, shootings. One eyewitness told Scripps News' Vanessa Misciagna that they are trying to process what has happened in the community.

For Nichoel Wymanarel, Lewiston is home. It’s where she’s raising her four kids including her daughters, ages 8 and 17.

It’s here in their hometown that Wymanarel and her daughters witnessed a large police presence outside the local bowling alley Wednesday night. Wymanarel pulled out her phone to start recording. It’s the video we’ve seen all over the news by now, of people fleeing the bowling alley. When she recorded, she didn’t know what she was witnessing. 

"I didn't realize the extent of what had happened in the bowling alley until the cop that we knew came up to us and was like, 'Hey, you guys really should get out of here. There's a shooter on the loose and there's like 20 people down. It's bad.' And we took a right out of where we were," she said. 

SEE MORE: How a hospital in Maine is treating victims of a mass shooting

When she left, Wymanarel says she saw injured people, bleeding, on a nearby street corner — an image that not only stays with her today, but her daughters.

"My youngest last night, she's like, 'This is a scary world we live in mama.' And I'm like, 'I know I'm like, we're gonna go home. We'll be fine,'" she said. 

The day after, on an abnormally warm New England October day, the streets are empty of locals who are all sheltering in place. In their stead are reporters waiting for information. 

"I think today everybody is just in survival mode. People are scared, they're confused, they're worried. I'm sure everybody's going to try to come together as much as possible throughout all of this. But I think today is just like a processing day and just trying to figure out where my loved ones are," Wymanarel said. 

She said she doesn't believe she has lost anybody in these shootings, but the full impact on her family may not be felt for quite some time. 

"It's easy to think that something like this is never going to happen here, and now it has and I think now the kids are scared of going to school, going to the mall, going to big events, going to concerts. I think it's really going to sit with them for a while," she said.

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