‘It rips you apart’: Dad of man killed in Lewiston mass shootings says son tried to stop the gunman

LEWISTON, ME — Authorities have not released the names of all 18 people killed in two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, but their family members and friends have begun sharing their stories.

According to Maine State Police, seven people died Wednesday at Sparetime Recreation bowling alley, eight died at Schemengees Bar and Grille and three died after being taken to area hospitals.

The father of a man killed when a gunman opened fire on Schemengees says his son died a hero, trying to stop the shooter.

Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker found out his son, Joe Walker, was one of 18 people killed when suspected gunman Robert Card opened fire at Just-In-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille.

Joe was a manager at Schemengees and was working last night when the restaurant was fired upon.

Police told the family that Joe died defending himself and others by grabbing a knife from behind the bar and attacking the shooter.

Leroy Walker told Boston 25′s Jason Law that he hadn’t slept since the deadly shooting.

“It comes and goes. I can sit over there with my family…and I can feel pretty good. Then five minutes later, it hits you again,” Walker said, fighting back tears. “It just rips you apart.”

The Walker family shared photos with Boston 25 News. One of the pictures is of Joe and his friend Alan Nickerson enjoying a few drinks. Walker’s family says Alan was also shot at the bar but survived the shooting.

“We did a lot of praying, a lot of crying all night, and off and on all day. When you read some of the things that are written, it breaks your heart even more,” said Leroy Walker. “It kind of wakes you up to the point where you know you’ve lost him and you know you’re going to miss him forever.”

The mother of another shooting victim, Bill Bracket, confirmed to Boston 25 that her son was killed in Wednesday’s mass shooting. He was part of a group of deaf people that gathered at Schemengees Bar & Grill to play cornhole.

Peyton Brewer Ross was one of the 18 victims of the shooting. It is unclear what location he was Wednesday evening, but Bath Iron Works said that Brewer Ross was killed while playing at a cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar and Grille.

“We send our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of our employee Peyton Brewer-Ross,” the company said in a message posted on social media. “Peyton was a valuable part of our team, a member of the pipe shop test crew and recently assisted in the launch of Hull 523, Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124). … He was hired just five years ago and was making a positive impact on our company. He will be sorely missed.”

Winthrop Public Schools Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said that a Winthrop High School freshman and his father were among the shooting victims, according to a newsletter. He also confirmed an uncle of another high schooler was a victim. Hodgkin did not confirm their names.

“There is a strong connection to our Winthrop community, but apparently no direct threat to our schools. Sadly, we have learned that a freshman at the high school and his dad are among the victims that were killed. Additionally, an uncle of another high school student was also killed,” Hodgkin said on Facebook.

Hodgkin said that schools will remain closed on Friday and will have a two-hour delay on Monday due to the on-going manhunt in our area.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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