As the impact of the devastating mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, rippled throughout the community, two local footwear companies have responded to the tragedy.
For Kyle Rancourt, co-founder of Lewiston-based footwear brand Rancourt and Company, he is devastated by this “senseless tragedy” and pledges to keep all of his employees home safe by remaining closed for the rest of the week.
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In a statement sent to FN by the Rancourt family, they said they are “deeply saddened, shocked and angered” by the senseless tragedy that has occurred in their hometown. “This community has been home to our family for over 80 years, and its values, diversity and resilience are at the core of our organization,” the Rancourt family said. “We love and support all people that make up the fabric of our community. We are all hurting today, but we are here to support each other and know that we will come back from this tragedy only stronger.”
At Quoddy, another Lewiston-based footwear company, co-owner Kirsten Shorey told FN that all of her employees and their immediate families are reported safe, and they continue to shelter in place while the suspect remains at large.
“The efficiency of local, state and federal law enforcement should be commended,” Shorey said. “Their response was immediate and absolute. Our hearts go out to the EMTs at the crime scenes and the medical care providers, who are still working to save lives at three Maine hospitals. Our local media has also worked around the clock to report the facts and to link people who need help and information to services and authorities.”
Shorey continued: “Listening to all the sirens and helicopters in the city overnight was devastating. We’ve all said to each other that this sort of thing ‘doesn’t happened here,’ in Lewiston or in Maine, until it did. We are shocked and saddened by the violence, and our hearts go out to neighbors, friends and families who are or will be impacted by this tragedy.”
On Wednesday night, a U.S. Army reservist fatally shot 18 people and wounded 13 at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine, authorities report. As of Thursday afternoon, a massive search for the suspected gunman, 40-year-old Robert Card, was still underway.
The shooting in the state’s second-largest city is the 36th mass killing in the United States this year, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. The database includes every mass killing since 2006 from all weapons in which four or more people, excluding the offender, were killed within a 24-hour time frame.
President Joe Biden ordered all U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff as condolences poured in from around the nation and at home. “Once again, our nation is in mourning after yet another senseless and tragic mass shooting,” President Biden said today in a statement. “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.”
The attacks stunned a state of only 1.3 million people that has one of the country’s lowest homicide rates: 29 killings in all of 2022, AP reported.
According to Lewiston police, a shelter-in-place remains in effect for the area.
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