Mass Shooting Victims To Testify Publicly

Additional victims’ families will soon be able to speak with an impartial panel that is looking into the worst mass shooting in Maine’s history.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills formed the panel to investigate the October 25 shootings in Lewiston, which occurred at a bowling alley and a restaurant and killed 18 people. Former judges and prosecutors are part of the team that is looking at how the police handled the situation after the shootings.

Speaking at a prior panel hearing last month, victims said that officials missed an opportunity to take firearms from gunman Robert Card before his rampage. According to Kathleen Walker, whose husband Jason tragically lost his life while attempting to intervene with Card, the system failed, and it can’t be allowed to happen again.

At Monday’s hearing in Lewiston, other victims are expected to testify. A detailed report about the shootings is anticipated from the panel. A meeting on Monday will be held to hear from victims and others impacted by the shootings, as stated by commission spokesman Kevin Kelley.

Previous sessions have seen police officials explain their strategy with Card in the months leading up to the killings. Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office deputies said in their testimony that it is challenging to take firearms from individuals who pose a risk due to the state’s yellow flag statute.

After these tragic events, Democrats in Maine are considering a reform to the state’s gun regulations. Mills is proposing a modification to the state statute that would enable the police to get a protective custody warrant to detain an armed suspect.

A majority of gun transactions would be subject to a 72-hour waiting period, according to other Maine Democrats. Maine has a greater rate of gun ownership than the majority of the Northeast, so these plans are sure to spark a heated discussion.