Lewiston shootings: Bowling alley where deadly shooting happened reopens after 6 months

LEWISTON, MAINE - OCTOBER 27: A Lewiston Strong sign is seen after two mass shootings on October 27, 2023 in Lewiston, Maine. Police are actively searching for a suspect, Army reservist Robert Card, who allegedly killed 18 people in a mass shooting at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston, Maine. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LEWISTON, Maine — The bowling alley where eight out of 18 people were killed last October during a shooting in Lewiston, Maine, reopened to the public on Friday.

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Justin and Samantha Juray decided to reopen their bowling alley on Friday, according to The Associated Press. It was filled with scenic images and messages at the end of each bowling lane. The walls were repainted and the floors were redone.

“It’s never going to leave my head,” Samantha Juray said, according to the AP. “I think if we don’t move forward — not that there was a point to this whole thing anyway — but we’re just going to allow the people that have taken so much from us win.”

At first, the Jurays were against reopening the bowling alley but the residents of Lewiston supported them, the AP reported. The bowling alley continues to be called Just-In-Time-Recreation.

On Oct. 25, a gunman killed eight people at the bowling alley. He then drove to a bar in the area where 10 others were killed, becoming the deadliest shooting in the history of Maine, according to the AP. The gunman later died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A ceremony was held Friday afternoon with comments from Lewiston police Chief David St. Pierre, Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline, representatives from Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and from Rep. Jared Golden, Gov. Janet Mills and the owners of Just-in-Time, Justin and Samantha Juray, according to WMTW. There was also a ribbon cutting and bowling pin distribution.

One of the things inside the bowling alley are 18 bowling pins with the names of the victims as a way to honor them, the news outlet reported.

Just-In-Time Recreation Center is a place where people can gather to celebrate birthdays and to bowl with their children, unwinding from a long day at work or celebrating the weekend with laughter and love. It is a place that brings people together,” Mills said, according to WMTW.

“Six months ago, Just-In-Time was one of two locations targeted by a horrific attack that robbed us of the lives of 18 beloved people – our family, friends, and neighbors. In an instant, the tightly woven fabric of Maine was torn apart, leaving an immense hole in the heart of our state and in the hearts of their families and the survivors hurt by wounds both seen and unseen,” Mills continued.

“We will never forget October 25th, but neither will we let it define us. We are still a civil, safe, and welcoming state, with a backbone as strong as Katahdin. We are who we always have been — a people with a deep and abiding sense of right and wrong, determined to look out for one another, knowing how very lucky we are to live in this beautiful state,” Mills said. “With this reopening, we reaffirm that Maine people will always embrace and value one another, as imperfect as we may be, as we search for happiness in the short, blessed time we have here.”

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