Shelter-in-place orders lifted in Lewiston, Maine after shootings, many businesses remain closed

Shelter-in-place orders lifted in Lewiston, Maine after shootings, many businesses remain closed

LEWISTON, Maine – Shelter-in-place orders have been lifted in Lewiston, Maine following days of a law enforcement manhunt for Robert Card. He is the suspect in a mass shooting at two businesses that killed 18 people. It comes just in time for residents as most of the restaurants and grocery stores remained closed. Many residents never had time to prepare. 

“It was a line back to the coffee station for a good four hours probably,” said Ari Roesner, a clerk at a local convenience store in Lewiston. “If it’s the Christmas holiday, and things are going to be closed, then you stock up ahead of time. People were coming in looking for bread, looking for milk, looking for potato chips. We are one of the only stores that are open when people unexpectedly needed all of these goods.” 

Store closed Lewiston
A store and gas station are closed due to a lock down in Lewiston, Maine on October 26, 2023, in the aftermath of a mass shootings.


For some restaurants that remained open there was an hour wait for people to get food. The owners of Jeff’s Jamaican Cuisine, Jeff and Sophia, started handing out free food to first responders and journalists. 

They say the community has given them so much. This was their way to give back to a community that is still scared and grieving. Sophia says her young nephew asked her, “Will we ever be safe again?” 

Now that the lockdown has been lifted, some residents still aren’t sure if they want to go back to work. Especially people in the restaurant industry. 

Jeff's Jamaican Cuisine
Owner of Jeff’s Jamaican Cuisine in Lewiston, Maine

CBS Boston

“The perpetrator has been targeting restaurants. Both of the places he did hit serve food,” said Rakeem Mikey-Sullivan, a worker at Olive Garden. “I will feel comfortable when he is apprehended. I will feel comfortable when he is behind bars. I will feel comfortable when he is caught. Until then, I cannot consciously go to work and provide good service.” 

In addition to working at Olive Garden, Rakeem is a professional dancer and an instructor at a local youth center. 

“I have lost students during this. I have lost community members. I have lost people during this moment,” said Mikey-Sullivan. “We have lost very important members of our community. Nothing I can say will justify that or bring that back.” 

While the shelter in place order has been rescinded, businesses still have the option to remain closed. Law enforcement will continue to search for the suspect in Lewiston and numerous surrounding towns.