Peyton Brewer-Ross. Courtesy of Bath Iron Works

When Peyton Brewer-Ross went to Schemengees Bar & Grille in Lewiston Wednesday night to play in a cornhole tournament, he was in the middle of some major life changes.

The 40-year-old Bath resident recently became a new father to a 2-year-old girl, Elle, and last year completed an apprenticeship program at Bath Iron Works, where he worked as a union pipefitter.

It all came to a tragic end when police say a gunman burst in and opened fire, killing Brewer-Ross and several others. Eighteen people were killed and more than a dozen were injured in attacks at the bar and a nearby bowling alley, representing the deadliest mass shooting in Maine’s history.

Brewer-Ross was funny, respectful, laid-back and “salt of the earth,” according to Sandra Scribner Merlim, who knew him when he was growing up in Westbrook as one of “three amigos” with her sons, Wayne Benwell Jr. and Dominic Cofone. She said Brewer-Ross’ daughter was the light of his life.

Peyton Brewer-Ross and his daughter. Courtesy of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Benwell said Brewer-Ross could be a “ballbuster” but was sincere.

“He also likes whimsical things like Superman, nerdy card games and dressing up like Macho Man to make you and himself laugh,” Benwell said. “If this happened to any one of us, he’d be beside himself with grief. He was sensitive like that.”


Bath Iron Works said the shipyard was “heartbroken.”

“Peyton was a valuable part of our team, a member of the pipe shop test crew and recently assisted in the launch of Hull 523, Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124),” BIW said in a statement, referring to its latest destroyer that’s nearing completion. “Peyton completed the grueling coursework and on-the-job training of BIW’s rigorous apprenticeship program.

“He was hired just five years ago and was making a positive impact on our company. He will be sorely missed.”

Brewer-Ross was a member of Machinists Union Local S6, which represents about 4,250 of the shipyard’s 6,500 workers.

Devin Ragnar, spokesperson for Local S6, said Brewer-Ross was an upstanding union member, citizen and human being.

“When you were talking to Peyton, he was listening,” Ragnar said. “He was caring, compassionate and really funny.”


Brewer-Ross was a member of the Local S6 Education Committee, and the union said he “did all he could to go above and beyond to support his fellow workers.”

“His humor and good nature made him an excellent addition to our family of representatives and committee members,” the union said in a statement. “All those who have been caught up in this tragedy have been left with a painful void. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted, especially Peyton’s partner and young daughter. We will grieve his tragic passing and mourn with all who knew him, but we will remember him for his kindness, compassion and strong character.”

Robert Martinez Jr., president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which Local S6 belongs to, said union members were grieving over the shooting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all the victims, including our own Peyton Brewer-Ross,” Martinez said in a statement. “Peyton’s contribution to Local S6 and Bath Iron Works has been invaluable, and his loss is deeply felt within our union and the broader community.”

Brewer-Ross loved wrestling, often quoting “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and had an affinity for comic books, friends said. He had an elaborate Superman tattoo on his arm.

Kevin Mann, of KaveMann Toys & Collectibles in Limington, remembered selling Brewer-Ross a Superman figure at an event in 2021 and seeing his tattoo.


“That moment right there was a Clark-Kent-to-Superman moment as Peyton Brewer-Ross showed a powerful visage and joy and contentment, and we shared a priceless moment of kinship over toys,” Mann said.

Brewer-Ross and his family loved playing cornhole, according to his brother, Ralph Wellman Brewer.

“He was doing something he loved when he was taken way too young,” Brewer said on social media.

Brewer set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his brother’s funeral expenses and to help his daughter as she grows up.

Peyton Brewer-Ross at a comic book event in 2021. The 40-year-old Bath Iron Works union pipefitter was killed in the mass shooting in Lewiston on Oct. 25. Courtesy of KaveMann Toys & Collectibles

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