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Mass shooting in Maine: What we know about Lewiston attack

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On Wednesday night the city of Lewiston, Maine, was shaken after a gunman opened fire in several locations. Police scrambled to find the suspect, advising residents and local businesses to lock down immediately.

Here’s what we know so far.

Where did the incidents occur?

Police, fire and rescue personnel first descended on Sparetime Recreation on Mollison Way, in Lewiston, about 7.15pm local time after a report of an active shooter, according to Maine newspaper The Sun Journal.

Shortly afterwards reports circulated online that another incident had taken place at a local bar and restaurant – Schemengees – on nearby Lincoln Street.

Around an hour after the first police activity Lewiston public information officer Derrick St Laurent told The Sun Journal that another shooting had been reported at the Walmart Distribution Center on Alfred A Plourde Parkway.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s office later released two pictures of the suspect entering a bowling alley – appearing to confirm reports on the first location.

What happened in the initial aftermath?

Video shared online showed multiple police vehicles in the local area.

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.

How many people have been shot?

The number of people shot was not immediately clear, though the Central Maine Medical Center said it was responding to a “mass casualty” event.

“Central Maine Medical Center is reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter event. At this time there are no specifics to share on the number of casualties,” the hospital wrote in an online statement.

“Central Maine Healthcare is coordinating with area hospitals to take in patients.”

ABC News reported that 10 people had been killed, with dozens more injured. The outlet cited law enforcement sources who have been briefed on the shooting.

CNN sources said that 16 people had been killed and that between 50 and 60 people had been wounded.

Who is the shooter?

Police are seeking to identify the man who, as of 9pm local time on Wednesday evening, remained at large.

The pictures released by the sheriff’s department showed a bearded man wearing a brown sweatshirt and dark trousers. He appeared to be carrying a large assault-style weapon.

John Miller, Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst for CNN, described the weapon as an AR15-style rifle with a possible telescopic sight. He noted that the gunman was wearing blue tactical pants with “bulging” pockets, suggesting the possibility he was carrying extra ammunition.