Local News

What we know about the victims in the Lewiston, Maine mass shooting

A well-known ASL interpreter, a youth bowling coach and 'hero' bar manager were among those killed on Wednesday.

Heart-shaped cut-outs with messages of positivity adorns trees in downtown Lewiston, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A volunteer youth bowling coach known for encouraging children and a bar manager whose father said died “a hero” were among the at least 18 people killed and 13 injured in two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine.

According to Maine State Police, seven people died Wednesday night at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, six were male and one was female. Eight more people, all male, died at Schemengees Bar and Grille; seven were killed outside the establishment; one inside. Three others died after being taken to area hospitals.

Authorities have not released the victims’ names, but their family members have been confirming their deaths.


Joshua Seal

American Sign Language interpreter Joshua Seal died in the shootings, his wife confirmed in a Facebook post. A father of four, Seal worked as Director of Interpreting Services at Pine Tree Society, an organization that helps people with disabilities. His wife, Elizabeth, is President of Maine Hands & Voices, a nonprofit that supports families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

In her post, Elizabeth Seal described her husband as an incredibly dedicated father who was always eager to help out with youth sports and enjoyed taking his kids on beach and camping trips.

“Not only was he an amazing father, he was a wonderful husband, my best friend, and my soulmate. He was also a wonderful boss, an incredible interpreter, a great friend, a loving son, brother, uncle, and grandson. He loved his family and always put them first. That is what he will always be remembered for,” she wrote.

Seal was “a tireless advocate for the Deaf community,” Pine Tree Society wrote, and he became widely known for being the ASL interpreter during Dr. Nirav Shah’s pandemic briefings.

Seal was one of four people killed while they were attending an event for members of the Deaf community at Schemengees Bar and Grille, MassLive reported.


— Ross Cristantiello

Billy Brackett

Brackett’s death was confirmed by loved ones on Facebook and by the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf. A member of the Deaf community, Brackett enjoy fishing, hunting, and playing cornhole. He was an avid darts player, and had been competing for years, according to a GoFundMe page set up in his name. He left behind a wife and young daughter.

“Billy was a son, a husband, a father, an uncle and a friend to many especially in the Deaf community he loved so much,” the GoFundMe page reads. “He leaves behind his wife Kristina and his 2 1/2-year-old daughter Sandra.”

— Ross Cristantiello

Steve Vozzella

Maine Educational Center for the Deaf confirmed Vozzella’s death. He was participating in a cornhole tournament at Schemengees, CBS reported. In a Facebook post, Vozzella was remembered by a Massachusetts man named David Ray who said he “coached Steve from a young age at the Beverly School for the Deaf to a varsity player at North Shore Tech.”

Vozzella got married less than a year ago, Ray wrote, adding that he was a “fine Student Athlete, but an even better person.”

— Ross Cristantiello

Bryan MacFarlane

Bryan MacFarlane’s death was also confirmed by Maine Educational Center for the Deaf. His sister, Keri Brooks, told CNN that MacFarlane was killed while participating in the cornhole tournament at Schemengees. MacFarlane was a regular at the restaurant, where he went weekly to play cornhole with other members of the Deaf community.


MacFarlane had only recently moved back to Maine after growing up near Portland. He was one of the first Deaf people in the state of Vermont to get his commercial trucking driver’s license, Brooks told CNN.

“Many states don’t let Deaf drive trucks so I’m very proud of him for achieving that,” she said.

MacFarlane enjoyed riding his motorcycle and playing with his dog, M&M, according to CNN.

“I grew up in Maine and the Deaf community is a tight-knit community,” Brooks told the outlet. “Not only was my brother slain but my friends were too.”

— Ross Cristantiello

Tommy Conrad

Tommy Conrad was a manager at Just-In-Time Recreation; his death was reported by ABC. A Facebook user named Dave Mireault said on the platform that Conrad was his nephew, and that he was killed while trying to “subdue the shooter.”

Mireault later posted an image of Conrad with his 9-year-old daughter. Facebook user Holly Mireault initially posted on the platform begging for information on her nephew.

“My nephew loved his daughter more than words can say. We love and will miss you Tommy,” she wrote in a later post.

— Ross Cristantiello

Arthur Strout

Arthur Strout was killed at Schemengees, WCVB reported. Strout’s father, Arthur Barnard told the station that he left 10 minutes before the shooting happened. Strout was supposed to leave with Barnard, but he “wanted to stay for a couple more games,” Barnard said.

Strout leaves behind a wife and five children, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his brother, Tyler Barnard.


Tyler Barnard remembered his brother in a Facebook post. He was with Strout just a few days ago, getting advice on how to be a new parent, Barnard wrote.

— Ross Cristantiello

Bob Violette

Retiree Bob Violette, 76, devoted himself to his volunteer job coaching the youth bowling league that was practicing Wednesday night, said Patrick Poulin, whose teenage son has been a member for three years.

“He’s taught so many people over the years how to bowl, and he wasn’t getting paid,” he said. “We’ve really been focused on trying to keep the sport alive, and Bob was really an integral part of that.”

Violette’s daughter confirmed his death to WBZ-TV. Poulin described him as unfailingly approachable and caring.

“Sometimes kids are having a hard time for whatever reason, discouraged or something,” he said. “He was great at picking them up and getting them to move along from that issue and get things going in the right direction.”

Two weeks ago, Poulin was at the bowling center with his son and offered him some tips. His son resisted, but eventually took the advice and bowled a great game.

“You gave him some good instructions, so when are you going to get out here and coach with me?” Violette asked him.

Poulin replied that he’d have to think about it. Asked Thursday if he’d consider it now, he said, “Someone’s got to step back in.”

Michael Deslauriers

Michael Deslauriers’ father told CBS News that his son was one of those killed at Just-In-Time Recreation. His father, who shares the same name, said his son and a friend both were killed as they charged at the gunman after making sure their wives and several children were safe.


Peyton Brewer-Ross

Peyton Brewer-Ross was a dedicated pipefitter at Bath Iron Works whose death leaves a gaping void in the lives of his partner, young daughter and friends, members of his union said.

Brewer-Ross, 40, was a 5-year member of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local S6, the union said in a statement. He graduated from an apprenticeship program last year, the union said.

Brewer-Ross loved cornhole, wrestling and comic book heroes, the union said. He would delight colleagues and friends by frequently quoting “Macho Man” Randy Savage, one of his favorite wrestlers.

“Peyton was not just a fellow pipefitter but a friend to many at Bath Iron Works,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan, who is also a Local S6 member and a former Bath Iron Works employee.

Brewer-Ross was a member of the Local S6 Education Committee who loved helping others and was beloved for his good nature and humor, union members said.

“Unfortunately, this horrible tragedy has affected our IAM family in a catastrophic way,” said IAM Resident General Vice President Brian Bryant, a Local S6 member and former Bath Iron Works pipefitter. “We will be there for the families, community and our members in every way needed today and into the future.”

Joe Walker

Joe Walker was the bar manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille. His father, Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker, told NBC News on Thursday that his son was shot twice in the stomach as he went after the gunman with a butcher knife.


“He died as a hero,” he said.

Waiting for confirmation of his worst fears Wednesday night, Walker told the network he felt like his guts and neck were being “squashed with a vice.”

“And I don’t know, telling you the truth, what kind of night this is going to be from now until tomorrow when I wake up to the true facts that my son is dead — and I know he’s dead,” he said. “I know it as well as I know I’m standing here telling you because he’s not here and he’s not at any other hospital and he’s not running the streets or he would have called us, because he manages Schemengees, so I know he was there.”

Tricia Asselin

Tricia Asselin worked part time at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley. She had Wednesday night off, but decided to go bowling with her sister.

When she realized shots were being fired inside the bowling alley, Asselin, 53, went to call 911, but was shot and killed, relatives said.

Asselin “had a great passion for life,” and was a loving mother, “the most caring person there was,” her mother, Alicia Lachance, told NBC News.

Asselin’s cousin, Tammy Asselin, was at the bowling alley with her own daughter, Toni, who played in a youth bowling league on Wednesdays. They knew Tricia worked there, but they hadn’t seen her yet that night.

When she heard the gunfire, Tammy Asselin couldn’t find her daughter, who was able to run to an exit. Tammy and others tried to hide, getting a table to flip over and act as a wall near a corner booth, she told ABC News.


“The whole time I’m thinking, ‘We’re sitting ducks,’” she said.

She was later told that Tricia didn’t make it. She remembered her cousin as “the most fun person. She was always happy-go-lucky.”

Bill and Aaron Young

Bill Young, 44, of Winthrop, had taken his 14-year-old son, Aaron, to play in a youth bowling league at Just-in-Time Recreation. Both died.

“Bill was a man dedicated to his family,” his cousin, Kim McConville, told The Associated Press via social media. “He was a master auto mechanic. Always trying to be a funny guy.”

Aaron was an avid bowler who had received recognition from the youth league.

In a statement, the superintendent of Winthrop Public Schools confirmed that a high school freshman and his dad were among those killed. Jim Hodgkin’s statement said an uncle of another high school student was also killed.

“This is tremendous tragedy for our area, our town, our students, and everyone. This is uncharted territory,” Hodgkin said.

Associated Press writers Alana Durkin Richer, Rhonda Shafner and Robert Bumstead contributed to this report.

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