Some colleges in Maine canceled classes Thursday following last night’s mass shooting in Lewiston, which is home to Bates College.
Bates students, who spent an anxious night sheltered in the library, were shuttled back to their dorms Thursday morning.
A manhunt is still underway for the suspect in the shooting as of Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson said the Bates campus remains in lockdown, but there are no reports of any Bates students or staff being among those who were killed. One college employee was injured, per the college’s president.
Carly Buck, a first-year from Arlington, said she was in her dorm when she first got alerts about the shooting.
“You never think it's going to happen to your community until it does,” Buck said, sitting in her dorm via Zoom. “It feels unreal right now and I think that's the case for all of my friends. I was just downstairs in my dorm’s common room with some of my friends watching the news, and it's just silence and shock.”
Junior Ruby Reimann from Oak Bluffs, who’s on the Bates’ soccer team, said she was in an academic building when she learned there was an active shooter in the area. Reimann and her friends locked themselves in a bathroom before running back to their dorms.
“Yesterday, everyone was kind of in shock, and I still think that’s persisting today,” she said. “But I think we all recognize that, during these times, we all need to join together and celebrate our sense of community and come together. So I’ve been checking in on my teammates. I’ve been receiving lots of messages from family and friends, not just at Bates.”
In a message to the campus community, Bates’ president Garry Jenkins said the college employee who was injured in the shooting is expected to make a full recovery.
“Of course, an event like this affects everyone in our community, and I imagine many of us are working through feelings of fear and anxiety right now,” he wrote, urging students and staff to connect with those around them and support each other.
His inauguration, which was scheduled for Friday morning, has been postponed.
Nearby, Bowdoin College in Brunswick and the University of Maine in Orono also canceled classes.
Colby College, about 50 miles north of Lewiston, is giving professors the option to teach in person or online or to cancel their classes.
GBH News intern Mara Mellits contributed to this report.