Berman & Simmons attorney Travis Brennan joined Maine Calling, Maine Public live call-in radio program on November 29 for its “Oct. 25th Aftermath” segment to share updates about how the community is healing and coping one month after the shootings in Lewiston. Berman & Simmons is currently part of a coalition of four prominent law firms assembled to represent victims of the tragic shooting incident, including many people who lost loved ones, who were injured, and who witnessed the events.
“I think a lot of the families, in addition to processing grief and the trauma that they’re going through, are left with a lot of unanswered questions about how something like this could occur,” said Brennan. “I think it’s a question that all of us have, how could this have occurred? Especially in a situation where this is someone who had overt signs of mental health issues and challenges.”
Community Members are at Different Stages in the Healing Process
Other show panelists included Shanna Cox, president and CEO of the Lewiston/Auburn Metropolitan Chamber, Marissa Moreau, teacher and President of the Auburn Education Association, and callers who provided more information on the community response to the tragedy. The Lewiston shootings have impacted each community member in unique and profound ways, and the guests all noted that every person is at a different stage in their healing process. Many community members are still intensely grappling with the trauma of what happened.
VIP caller Justin Juray, owner of Just-In-Time Recreation, where some of the tragic shootings occurred, expressed how deeply the experience has impacted him. “This has just basically consumed every second of my life for the last month. I can’t describe what the experience is, but even at the age that I am, nothing has happened in my life that has affected me like this.”
First Responders Included More Than Medical Personnel and Police
In the initial hours and days after the shootings, first responders included more than medical personnel and police. Shanna Cox mentioned that Public Works, clergy, and victim advocates all rushed to support victims and their families in the immediate aftermath, adding that counseling services, funeral directors, and attorneys like Brennan have continued to serve the community to meet their multifaceted needs.
It was also noted that Counselors from Tri-County Mental Health Services collaborated with community officials to create a space at the Ramada to provide counseling triage, information, and emotional support dogs to survivors, witnesses, and their families soon after the shooting. When tragedies like this happen, public service organizations just snap into action and run towards the frontlines to assist.
Supporting the Immediate and Long-term Needs of the Community
A fund from the City of Lewiston and Androscoggin Bank is set up to provide immediate financial support for victims, which includes around 155 people and their households, and the Maine Community Fund has set up the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund to provide assistance in the coming months. VIP caller Danielle Parent, Director of the Maine Resilience Center, added that the Maine Resilience Center is a resource available to all those who feel affected by the shootings.
Accessibility to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Audience
In order to make the program accessible to a deaf and hard of hearing audience, Maine Calling also shared the show on YouTube. Maine Calling: Lewiston Community- How are they doing? – YouTube