Heroes of Maine mass shooting: Retired cop helped shield people in bowling alley

Riley Dumont said her father helped parents and kids hide during the shooting.

October 27, 2023, 9:25 AM

Stories of heroism are emerging after the deadliest mass shooting of 2023 took place in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night.

At least 18 people were killed and 13 more injured after a gunman opened fire at a bowling alley and a local bar and restaurant, Maine Gov. Janet Mills said during a press conference Thursday.

However, there may have been many more people dead and wounded had it not been for the brave individuals who helped save lives.

Riley Dumont said her 11-year-old daughter was participating in a youth event at the alley when gunfire erupted.

Dumont said her father, a retired police officer, immediately understood the gravity of the situation and helped protect people in the bowling alley.

PHOTO: An armed law enforcement official guards the ambulance entrance to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine early on Oct. 26, 2023.
An armed law enforcement official guards the ambulance entrance to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine early on Oct. 26, 2023.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

"My dad's been a police officer for 40 years and he literally just went into action in that moment and just kind of corralled us all and made sure we were all safe and that the scene -- he was waiting for the cops to walk through the front door and he put protection in front of us and tables and like a big bench that the kids were hiding behind," Dumont told "Nightline."

Dumont said she was hiding with her daughter and mother as well as other parents and children who were there. She is convinced her father helped save lives.

"I was laying on top of my daughter. My mother was laying on top of me," she said. "It felt like it lasted a lifetime."

Dumont said she heard people sobbing in the bowling alley while many people around her were "whimpering."

"My mom and I were just trying to keep everybody quiet and consoling each other," she said. "The sounds that I heard were only closest to me and then the gunshots were all I remember hearing."

There were several other heroes at the bowling alley. Michael Deslauriers II, one of the victims, reportedly died while attempting to rush the shooter to get others to safety, his sister, Vicki Roy, told ABC News.

Bob Violette, a youth bowling coach who was killed at the bowling alley, reportedly died while trying to protect the children in his care, according to ABC News' Trevor Ault.

PHOTO: Bob Violette in a handout photo.
Bob Violette in a handout photo.
Courtesy Cassandra Violette

Tammy Asselin, the cousin of victim Tricia Asselin, was at the bowling alley with her daughter, Toni. She said parents and staff helped save kids who were at the alley that night for a youth bowling league.

"Thank God to the quick thinking of some parents who didn't even turn to look, they just grabbed the kids and said, 'run,'" she told ABC News' Linsey Davis. "And an employee who worked there helped them hide behind the bowling alley. Behind everything, apparently, there's an office space there and they barricaded themselves in there."

During the shooting, Joseph Walker, 56, the manager at Schemengees Bar & Grill, grabbed a knife in an attempt to stop the gunman, according to police.

He was fatally shot twice in the stomach, according to his father, Leroy Walker Sr.

"You take him down, whatever you got to do, you save the others and in my son's case he lost his life trying to do it," Leroy Walker told ABC News' David Muir. "I don't know if he saved any, I just know he tried and I know in my heart that's exactly what he would do."

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