Biden Uvalde School Shooting

President Biden, accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, shown in May, will visit Lewiston in the wake of last week’s mass shootings. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Lewiston on Friday as the community mourns the killing of 18 people in a mass shooting spree last week, the White House has confirmed.

“The President and First Lady will pay respects to the victims of this horrific attack and grieve with families and community members, as well as meet with first responders, nurses, and others on the front lines of the response,” a White House spokesperson told the Press Herald Wednesday evening.

The White House did not provide any additional details about the president’s planned trip.

Gov. Janet Mills told Maine Public on Monday that she invited Biden to Maine and that he would likely arrive on Friday. But Biden’s press secretary would not confirm the trip, saying a presidential visit is an enormous undertaking that takes a considerable amount of planning.

“I deeply appreciate President Biden’s unwavering support of us in the wake of last week’s horrific tragedy,” Mills said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “By visiting us in our time of need, the President and First Lady are making clear that the entire nation stands with Lewiston and with Maine – and for that I am profoundly grateful.”

Greg Jackson, deputy director of the recently created White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, arrived in Lewiston Sunday to support the community in the wake of the tragedy and work with the governor’s office to coordinate federal support.


This will be Biden’s second visit to Maine this year and the first visit to Lewiston by a sitting president in 30 years. President George H.W. Bush visited schoolchildren in the city in 1991. Biden visited Auburn in July to tout his economic agenda, as he seeks another term in office, but he did not make any stops in Lewiston.

Biden’s visit to Maine this time comes a week after the worst mass shooting in state history and the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. this year. Biden and his predecessors have made many similar trips to grieving communities around the nation in the wake of mass shootings.

Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army reservist, opened fire at Just-In-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille around 7 p.m. on Oct. 25, sending the city and the state into a mass panic as people searched for information about their loved ones.

A 48-hour manhunt for Card, whom police said was armed and dangerous, put Lewiston and nearby communities under a shelter-in-place order. Card’s body was found Friday evening in Lisbon. He died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police have said.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Biden called for universal background checks, bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and other gun safety measures, while offering condolences to the victims.

“Once again, our nation is in mourning after yet another senseless and tragic mass shooting,” Biden said in a written statement on the night of the shootings. “Today, Jill and I are praying for the Americans who’ve lost their lives, for those still in critical care, and for the families, survivors, and community members enduring shock and grief.”

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