A Lewiston woman was fatally stabbed in front of her two young children Sunday morning on the sidewalk outside a downtown laundromat, Maine State Police said.

One of several bystanders who witnessed the attack tackled the man who stabbed Kimberly Dobbie, holding him until Lewiston police arrived, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Dobbie, 48, had just started a load of laundry at Rancourt’s Laundromat on Sabattus Street and stepped outside with her children, 11-year-old twins, when she was attacked just before 11 a.m.

McCausland said Dobbie and her assailant knew one another, but he did not have any additional details about their relationship, or the confrontation outside the laundromat.

The suspect, who had not been charged by Sunday evening, was hospitalized after reporting chest pains, McCausland said.

Dobbie was taken to Central Maine Medical Center and died there early Sunday afternoon. An autopsy is likely to take place Monday, McCausland said.

The woman’s children are with family members, he said.

Dobbie lived at Hope Haven Gospel Mission in Lewiston, which provides a shelter, a soup kitchen and drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

The homicide is the latest burst of violence in Lewiston in recent weeks.

On Friday, police responded to six to 12 gunshots near Horton Street, where spent shells were found in a driveway behind The Washtub laundromat at Horton and Walnut streets. No injuries were reported.

The previous weekend, three men were arrested July 7 in connection with reports of gunshots fired in the downtown area earlier in the day. No victim was found, but several people reported hearing at least five gunshots about 6 a.m. near the corner of Bartlett and Walnut streets.

In June, a Lewiston man died after being struck in the head during a large brawl near Kennedy Park downtown. Police did not provide details but did say tensions had escalated at Kennedy Park over the past month, including at least three confrontations between groups. In the encounter that left Donald Giusti, 38, dead, witnesses said it began after teenagers in a car drove past the park and shot pellets and BBs at a group gathered there. Several members of the group pursued the car to Knox Street, where a melee broke out, with the teenagers reportedly wielding sticks, bats and bricks, sources said.

Correction: This story was updated at 10 a.m. Monday July 16, 2018, to correct the ages of Kimberly Dobbie’s children.

 

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