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Up to 22 people are feared dead and dozens more injured as police continue the hunt for an active shooter in Lewiston, Maine.
Two incidents reportedly occurred in a bowling alley and a bar, with footage shared online showing multiple police vehicles rushing to the scene in the Lewiston area. A third is believed to have taken place at a Walmart distribution centre.
Local businesses were advised to lock down or close by authorities.
The Central Maine Medical Center issued a statement online, saying it was responding to a “mass casualty” event, but did not share details on the precise number of those injured.
“Central Maine Healthcare is coordinating with area hospitals to take in patients,” the statement read.
NBC News said that at least 22 people had been killed.
ABC News reported that as many as 16 people were dead, with dozens more injured. The outlet cited law enforcement sources who have been briefed on the shooting. CNN reported there had been at least 16 fatalities, with 50 to 60 people injured in the incidents, also citing law enforcement.
Police in Lewiston, Maine issue photo of shooting suspect’s car
The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s office later released two pictures of the alleged suspect, seeking identification. The bearded man pictured wore a brown sweatshirt and dark trousers and appeared to be holding a large assault-style weapon.
An expert for CNNdescribed the weapon as an AR15-style rifle with a telescopic sight. The man was wearing blue tactical pants with “bulging” pockets, suggesting the possibility he was carrying extra ammunition.
The man appeared to be entering a bowling alley.
An image of the gunman released by Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office
The force wrote: “Law enforcement in Androscoggin County are investigating two active shooter events. We are encouraging all businesses to lock down and or close while we investigate. The suspect is still at large.”
Lewiston public information officer Derrick St Laurent told The Sun Journal at about 8.15pm local time that another shooting was reported at the Walmart Distribution Center on Alfred A Plourde Parkway.
A message put out online by Maine State Police advised members of the public to “shelter in place”.
“There is an active shooter in Lewiston. We ask people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations,” the force said. “If you see any suspicious activity or individuals please call 911. Updates to follow.”
A text sent out by Lewiston Public Schools urged anyone near or at the school for conferences to get in a safe place.
”We are going into lockdown. I will provide more information as it is available and appropriate,” the alert read.
Maine Governor Janet Mills wrote in a statement: “I am aware of and have been briefed on the active shooter situation in Lewiston. I urge all people in the area to follow the direction of State and local enforcement.
“I will to continue to monitor the situation and remain in close contact with public safety officials.”
Lewiston is about 36 miles north of Portland, Maine.