Marianne O’Connor of Lisbon, right, holds a candle Saturday at a vigil for the victims of Wednesday’s mass shootings in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LISBON— Nearly 1,000 people gathered at Worumbo Mill Park Saturday night in a vigil to mourn the 18 lives lost in the Wednesday night shootings in Lewiston.

Lea Boisvert caught the attention of vigil holders and media from near and far with her sign bearing the names of those who died. Arthur Strout, 42, was a close friend whose name she placed at the top of her list. Boisvert said she added the names as she learned them in the days following the shootings.

“This is who this should be about. We should know these names. These are the ones that matter. These are the people who didn’t ask for this. These folks just wanted to live. This was a husband and wife, and this was a father and son,” Boisvert said pointing to Robert and Lucille Violette and Bill and Aaron Young. “The minute I knew there was a vigil, I knew this needed to be down here.”

When Friday’s press conference confirmed the location and death of gunman Robert Card, the vigil had to be held immediately, said Lisbon resident Len Lednum. Lednum is the president of nonprofit Positive Change Lisbon and one of the vigil’s organizers.

Heather Bailey and her daughter, Ollie, 13, lean on each other Saturday during a Lisbon candlelight vigil for the victims of Wednesday’s mass shootings in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Lednum said that over the past few days he has seen many people supporting one another via social media, much like during the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he knew the community needed to come together in a meaningful and physical way.

“It’s been insane and I think everybody needs this release. It feels weird to be here, I wish we weren’t, but all we can do is move forward,” Lednum said. “We’re a community, but we’re also a family and there are a lot of people who just need that family bond, they need to feel like, ‘Wow, somebody’s got my back.’”


Lednum introduced the vigil’s only speaker, Pastor Jon Jones from Lisbon Falls Baptist Church. Jones spoke of faith, community and healing during a short address to the crowd and many joined in as members of his congregation closed his address by singing “Amazing Grace.”

Heidi Patrie, right, hugs a friend at a vigil in honor of the victims of the mass shooting in Lewiston on Saturday. Patrie said her kids are very close with Joshua Seal’s children. Seal, who was a husband, father and a well-known American Sign Language interpreter in Maine, was one of the 18 people who lost their lives on October 25. Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald

Devin Wagner and her son, Mason, 3, both of Lisbon, were holding candles at the vigil Saturday. Devin said she did not know anyone personally at the shootings, but the carnage affected everyone just the same. At 3 years old, Mason could not understand why he had to stay inside other than there was “a bad man hurting people.”

“Yesterday, he was looking for his Spider-Man costume,” Devin said. “He was like ‘Mom, where’s my mask? I want to go fight the bad guy.’”

Devin said her aunt had a friend at Schemengees Bar & Grille, one of the scenes of Wednesday’s shootings, who was able to get away as the gunman was reloading. However, a friend of a close friend was not so lucky, she said. “It’s really affected all of us.”

“My granddaughter’s coach got shot twice. He’s still in the hospital. I don’t know really much more than that,” Lewiston resident Rose Dulac said.

Dulac’s nephew, unnamed and in his 20s, was at Just-in-Time Bowling during the shooting. He knew the gunman, Card, but not well, she said.  “My nephew pretty much lives (at Just-in-Time). He’s a really good bowler … I think he’s doing OK, according to his dad. But he was pretty frightened. It’s awful. It’s awful.”


Ashley Jones of Lisbon is surrounded by her daughters Saturday at a vigil for the victims of Wednesday’s mass shootings in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Boy Scouts of America had several troops from Lewiston, Lisbon, Auburn and beyond at the vigil. Lewiston’s Girl Troop 2019 leader Ed Poulin said one of his groups was bowling at Just-in-Time Bowling on Tuesday night. The evening was basically picked at random, he said.

Troop 2019 scout Leia Turcotte said her father was supposed to be at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Wednesday night, but skipped out to go to her brother’s soccer game. She said she knew some of the people from the Deaf community who were there that night.

Lednum said the evening was all about community and the healing that needs to take place. So, when he returned to the front of the lot at Worumbo Mill Park to make sure nobody needed additional help, he was unsurprised that just a dozen-or-so candles were left from a box of 1,000.

“Unfortunately, it’s tragic circumstances that bring us here, but anybody out there that thinks they’re going to defeat us, this spirit, this unity?” Lednum said. “It’s not going to happen and we’re showing that tonight.”

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