A teen bowler, a shipbuilder and a sign language interpreter are among the Maine shooting victims

Oct 30, 2023, 2:30 PM

lewiston strong sign hung up in window...

A cafe shows its support for the community a day after the body of Robert Card was found Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 in Lewiston, Maine. Card, a firearms instructor who grew up in the area, was found dead in nearby Lisbon Falls, Gov. Janet Mills said at a Friday night news conference. (AP Photo/ Jake Bleiberg)

(AP Photo/ Jake Bleiberg)

The 18 people killed in two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, included a 14-year-old bowler, a shipbuilder who loved playing the game of cornhole and a sign language interpreter.

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. Three others died after being taken to hospitals.

The victims were remembered Sunday evening during a standing-room-only vigil at the Lewiston basilica that was attended by Gov. Janet Mills and the state’s entire congressional delegation. A bell tolled after each name was read aloud.

William Brackett

William Brackett, who went by Billy, didn’t let being deaf interfere with anything he wanted to do, including playing multiple sports, said his father, also named William Brackett.

Basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, he loved them all. As a teenager, he served as a batboy for a high school baseball team and would stand in the dugout teaching the players sign language. As an adult, he taught children how to play basketball in a summer recreation program.

“He was just a gentle person. He was big and rugged and I guess maybe that’s why all the little kids loved him,” his father said. “They swarmed to a bigger person. Maybe they thought, ‘He’ll be our protector.’”

More recently, Billy, 48, was teaching his young daughter how to fish.

“The attention span of a 2½-year-old isn’t great, and if she got a fish, she didn’t want to touch it. But he was teaching her, and she was paying attention,” his father said.

“That’s the way he was,” he said. “If it was your kid, he’d be doing the same thing.”

At Sunday’s vigil, Kevin Bohlin, a deaf community leader, signed Brackett’s name along with the three other deaf Mainers who were killed. Bohlin demonstrated the ASL sign for “I love you” and asked mourners to repeat it to each other.

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.

Peyton Brewer-Ross

Peyton Brewer-Ross was a dedicated pipefitter at Bath Iron Works who left behind a partner, young daughter and friends, members of his union said.

Brewer-Ross, of Bath, was doing something he loved — playing cornhole and enjoying friends — when he was shot to death, his brother said.

“He was a character. He didn’t meet anyone he didn’t like,” Wellman Brewer said of his younger brother.

Brewer-Ross loved the game of cornhole so much that he brought out the angled boards and beanbags at family gatherings, his brother said.

He said his fun-loving brother, a shipbuilder at Bath Iron Works, was the life of the party.

“He has a Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage Slim Jim jacket that he wore,” Brewer said, noting the apparel choice that originated with a flamboyant professional wrestler. “Not too many people could pull that off.”

Brewer-Ross and his fiancé, Rachael, had just celebrated the second birthday of their daughter, Elle, two weeks earlier.

“There’s a hole in our family now where he used to be. And it’s going to hurt for a while,” Wellman Brewer said.

Joshua Seal

Joshua Seal, a sign language interpreter, was shot and killed while playing in a cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar with other members of the deaf community.

His wife, Elizabeth Seal, said in a Facebook post that 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.”

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you all that Joshua Seal has passed away… no, he was murdered, in the 10/25 shooting in Lewiston. It still feels surreal,” she wrote.

Robert and Luceille Violette

Retiree Bob Violette, 76, and his wife Luceille, 73, died in the shootings. Bob devoted himself to his volunteer job coaching the youth bowling league that was practicing that 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.”

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 Deslaurier

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 shooter after making sure their wives and several children were safe.

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 shooter with a butcher knife.

“He died as a hero,” he said.

On Sunday, Walker was greeting people at a trick-or-treat event hosted by an organization he leads. He smiled broadly when the kids hugged him, and accepted hugs from community members.

But he became emotional when he spoke of his son, Joseph, who normally would’ve joined him at the event.

“It’s been a tough few days, trust me. The heart doesn’t stop bleeding,” he said. “I miss him every minute. I miss him more every day.”

Tricia Asselin

Tricia Asselin worked part time at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley. She had Wednesday night off, but went 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 and then tripped on some bowling bags and fell. Tammy and others tried to hide, getting a table to flip over and act as a wall near a corner booth. Her daughter had gotten to an exit and was safe, she found later.

“I never prayed so hard in my life as I did that night,” 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,” according to ABC News.

Arthur Strout

Arthur Strout was playing pool with his father at the bar. His son wanted to stay and play a couple more games, but his father, Arthur Barnard, left shortly before the shooting.

“I said, ‘OK,’ and he said ‘I love you,’ because all my kids tell me that every time we see each other,” Barnard told CBS News. “Ten minutes later, I get a phone call.”

Strout, 42, and his wife, Kristy, had a blended family of five children.

“He’s helped me raise my children since they were very, very little,” Kristy Strout told CBS. “His daughter’s only 13 and without a dad because of all of this. Because of one man’s choices, my daughter has to grow up without a father.”

Strout was a family-oriented person who loved playing pool and cooking Italian food, Bonnie Caron, the mother of his 23-year-old son, told the AP.

“He was murdered doing something he loved,” Caron said. “He was just all about having fun.”

Bryan McFarlane

Bryan McFarlane, 41, a commercial truck driver and a member of the deaf community, was playing a cornhole tournament at the bar.

McFarlane grew up in Maine. He spent a lot of time in Vermont, where he became one of the first deaf people in the state to get a commercial truck driver’s license, according to his sister, Keri Brooks. A favorite companion on the road was his dog, M&M, named after his favorite candy.

McFarlane would go to the bar every Wednesday to play cornhole, Brooks said.

“He was so dependable,” Brooks, who is also deaf, told WCSH-TV. “He just loved socializing with the deaf community, with his friends. “He would give the shirt off of his back to anybody.”

Stephen Vozzella

Stephen Vozzella, 45, a U.S. Postal Service worker and a member of a deaf cornhole league, was playing with friends at the bar.

“He had much more life to live before it was stolen from him in an all-too-common senseless act of gun violence,” Brian Renfroe, the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said in a statement. Vozzella was a member of branch 241 of the labor union.

Vozzella also was a member of New England Deaf Cornhole, which planned to have a moment of silence for him at an upcoming tournanent in November. The organization said he brought excitement and a huge smile to the game.

Thomas Conrad

Thomas Conrad, 34, worked as general manager at the bowling alley.

A co-worker said what he remembers most about Conrad is “his love of the kids.”

“Every kid that came in, he wanted to make sure they had the best time they ever did at the bowling alley,” Josh D’Angelos told WGME-TV. D’Angelos was not working that night.

Organizers of a fundraiser for his family said Conrad served in the U.S. Army, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.


This story has been updated to correct the following: one of the victims’ names to Joshua Seal, not Sears; the age of Strout’s son to 23, not 24; and the name of the bowling alley to Just-In-Time Recreation, not Sparetime Recreation.

___ Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner and reporters David Sharp, Michelle Smith, Alanna Durkin Richer, Robert Bumsted and Claudia Lauer contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

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

Crime, Police + Courts


Derrick Jones

Utah DMV warns about a new scam

Salt Lake City, Utah — The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles warned the public in a press release about increasingly frequent text messages claiming to be from the DMV but are actually scammers. The press release states:  The fraudulent text messages are carefully crafted to mislead taxpayers into believing they are official communications from the DMV. The […]

21 hours ago

A 37-year-old man was rescued after suffering a lower-leg fracture while BASE jumping in Grand Coun...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

2 BASE jumpers rescued in separate incidents near Moab over holiday weekend

Two BASE jumpers were rescued in separate incidents after being injured near Moab over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

22 hours ago

Image of an outdoor light post at Glendale Middle School, one of several schools in the Salt Lake C...

Adam Small

Copper wire stolen from Salt Lake City schools

Liberty, Rose Park, and Parkview Elementary Schools, along with Hillside and Glendale Middle School have all experienced copper wiring theft.

1 day ago

Passenger climbs on to Southwest Airlines wing...

Shawn Nottingham, CNN

A Southwest Airlines passenger opened an emergency exit and climbed onto a plane’s wing while the aircraft was at the gate

Police responded to a disturbance on Southwest Airlines plane in New Orleans when a passenger climbed on to the plane's wing.

1 day ago

Young Thug trial...

Christina Maxouris, CNN

Prosecutor says Young Thug was ‘proclaimed leader’ of violent street gang at racketeering trial openings

Prosecutors accused Young Thug of leading a gang that committed murder & a slew of violent crimes during his his racketeering trial.

2 days ago

Image of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, speaking at UVU in Orem on April 22. Reyes was sued Mond...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Lawsuit accuses AG Sean Reyes of intimidating critic of Tim Ballard, OUR

The lawsuit is the fourth complaint against Ballard in recent months and the first time Reyes is named as a defendant.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

A teen bowler, a shipbuilder and a sign language interpreter are among the Maine shooting victims