‘Pure and utter heartbreak’: Utahn worries for family, friends in Maine after mass shootings

Oct 27, 2023, 6:52 AM | Updated: 8:10 am

reporter adam small at his desk...

KSL NewsRadio Reporter, Adam Small. (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah families with connections to Lewiston, Maine are feeling devastated by Wednesday’s mass shooting that left 18 dead and 13 others injured.

“The fact that it has now hit my backyard, it almost makes you feel like there is nowhere that is out of the reach of these kinds of tragedies,” KSL Newsradio reporter Adam Small said.


Small was born in Lewiston and grew up about 30 minutes away in Farmingdale. He moved to Utah after college.

“It’s peaceful, it’s quiet, there is nature, there are trees everywhere, people are nice, it’s consistently ranked one of the safest places in the country and when you see this (mass shooting) headline, Mainers aren’t used to that,” he said.

Small said many of his friends and family still live in areas surrounding Lewiston, he spent Wednesday night and most of Thursday checking in with them.

“I’ve been messaging aunts, uncles, cousins, friends,” he said. “Those are the messages that nobody should ever have to send.”

Small’s half-sister, Heather Kromer, lives approximately 100 feet from Schemengees Bar and Grille in Lewiston, where the gunman opened fire killing 8 people.

“On the way out we heard what I thought were fireworks,” Kromer said.

She was taking her children to her mother’s house when she heard the popping. Thinking it was fireworks she continued the drive, only, she took a route away from the bar. “We would have gone right past the bar when it was happening, we would have seen him coming out if we had gone that way,” Kromer said.

She said she stayed with her mother Wednesday night and is now afraid to return home with the gunman still at large.

“I definitely don’t feel safe going back home tonight, even driving through the city I don’t know what to expect, he could be anywhere, and nobody really knows, it’s scary,” she said. “I called dispatch to just check if it’s okay and ask them if they would be willing to come inside the house to make sure.”

Small said he’s worried about his half-sister and her children, and the people of Lewiston.

“It’s horrible that something like this hit that group of people, they did not deserve this.” He said he’s trying to understand how this could happen to such a quiet community. “I’m heartbroken,” Small said. “Obviously there are so many different emotions that you can feel, but for me it’s pure and utter heartbreak and sadness that this is something that was 100% avoidable, and it still happened.”

Related: During manhunt for suspect in Maine shooting that killed 18, authorities twice converge Thursday on his last known residence


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Pele, a gorilla and expectant mother at Hogle Zoo...

Kyle Remund

Hogle Zoo announces upcoming baby gorilla

Hogle Zoo has announced the pregnancy of Pele, an endangered western lowland gorilla. Her new baby is expected to arrive this summer.

3 hours ago

Panguitch Lake...

Kennedy Camarena

Panguitch City evacuation notice lifted as dam damage control continues

With mitigation efforts underway, evacuation notice has been lifted for Panguitch Lake and the surrounding area.

3 hours ago

The Utah Highway Patrol car, the uhp is cracking down on distracted driving...

Heather Peterson

Law enforcement agencies cracking down on distracted driving

More than 40 Utah law enforcement agencies will be out on the road through Sunday, April 14 to look out for distracted driving.

5 hours ago

KB Richins, one of two Utahns currently competing on American Idol, performs Monday night on ABC ne...

Mark Jackson

Two Utahns advance to American Idol’s Top 20

Two singers from Utah have successfully made it as two of the last 20 contestants left to compete against one another in American Idol.

5 hours ago

photo of the Arizona Coyotes on a rink...

Kyle Ireland, KSL Sports

Arizona Coyotes Head Coach André Tourigny addresses relocation reports

Arizona Coyotes head coach André Tourigny addressed the situation during an interview with Arizona Sports‘ Wolf & Luke Show on Thursday.

8 hours ago

ioc delegation at park city mountain during the salt lake ioc visit...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

International Olympic Committee continues Utah tour in Park City

Members of the IOC are continuing their Salt Lake IOC visit to the state to see venues and how prepared Utah is to potentially host the 2034 Winter Games.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

‘Pure and utter heartbreak’: Utahn worries for family, friends in Maine after mass shootings