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Home ยป Stay At Home Orders Lifted After Maine Shooting

Stay At Home Orders Lifted After Maine Shooting

Media caption, Watch: Authorities name all 18 victims of Maine shooting

By Holly Honderich & Eloise Alanna

reporting from Lewiston

Stay at home orders have been rescinded for a number of Maine communities after the deadliest US mass shooting this year.

A manhunt for the suspected gunman, who killed 18 people and injured 13 others, is in its third day.

Police on Friday released the names of all the 18 victims.

They include a grandfather, a talented young bowler, and four members of Maine’s deaf community, ranging in age from 14 to 76.

The attack happened at a local bar and a bowling alley in the small town of Lewiston. The community as well as several other nearby towns have been on lockdown since the shootings.

Police have been conducting an “around-the-clock” effort to locate 40-year-old Robert Card, the suspect, and have urged caution for communities while he remains on the loose.

Michael Sauschuck, Maine’s public safety commissioner, said on Friday evening that businesses can either remain closed or re-open as of this weekend.

However, hunting remains prohibited in the towns of Bowdoin, Lewiston, Lisbon, and Monmouth to prevent gun shots being heard that would prompt calls to emergency services, he said.

As sunset fell across southern Maine on Friday, Lewiston remained quiet, the windows of businesses and homes kept dark.

Michael Mathieu, a resident of neighbouring Auburn, said he felt safe even with the suspect still on the loose.

“I feel they wouldn’t put the public in harm’s way just to get people back to some sort of normalcy,” he said after officials announced the lockdown orders were being lifted.

“I believe they would keep the shelter in place if they felt there was still a danger to anyone.”

Nick Wilson, a business owner near Lewiston, said residents should “live with caution but not with fear”.

“He took lives but not all of ours,” he said. “The community needs to return regular life so that the grieving can start. We all need each other.”

Locals told the BBC they were certain the affected communities would come together.

“We look after each other,” said Tammy, from Auburn, who declined to give her last name.

Across Lewiston, paper cut-outs in the shape of hearts appeared on telephone poles, green writing on white paper: “To my community” and “To my home”.

Media caption, Watch: ‘We’ve never ever locked our doors’

In Portland, students of the University of Southern Maine organised a meal collection for members of the deaf community, who were heavily hit by Wednesday’s attack.

Authorities had begun searching the Androscoggin River for the suspect, but that mission was paused at dark and will resume on Saturday, when additional dive resources will be brought in.

That search will be “time intensive”, officials said during a update on the investigation.

Authorities had found the suspect’s white Subaru Outback at a boat ramp in Lisbon, beside the river. They said that they found additional evidence in the car but did not provide specific details.

On Friday, a utility was using its dams to lower the water level in the area to help investigators. Helicopters flew over the river to help direct divers as they searched the water.

Neighbourhood canvassing efforts are also scheduled to take place in the coming days, Mr Sauschuck said.

That “could be a couple of officers knocking on the door” or “two officers with clearly displayed badges jumping out of a marked car to come talk to you as detectives”.

Law enforcement have urged for patience from residents as the search continues. So far, they have received over 530 tips and leads, but have not given any indication that they have uncovered a solid lead in the manhunt.

They did reveal on Friday morning, however, that a note had been found at a property linked to the suspect.Two unnamed law enforcement officials told the Associated Press it was a suicide note that did not provide any specific motive for the shooting. It was addressed to his son. The suspect’s mobile phone was also discovered at the property.

Investigators would not confirm that information and declined to elaborate on the note’s contents.