Vermont State Police announced on Fri. evening that they’re sending an Underwater Recovery Team to Lewiston, ME to assist with the ongoing search for a suspect connected to the mass shooting that killed at least 18 people Wed. night.
Officials with VSP say they received the request Fri. afternoon and it was immediately approved by Col. Matthew Birmingham. The details of the deployment were being finalized Fri. evening, including how many troopers will be sent and for how long.
New Hampshire has sent aid as well. According to officials with the New Hampshire Dept. of Safety, as of noon on Thurs. the state has sent SWAT teams to help with ground searches, detectives to assist in investigation, one helicopter and members of the Special Enforcement unit to provide air support in the search. NH State Troopers have also helped shuttle blood donations to Maine, mental health professionals from the DOS Peer Support Unit are providing counseling to those impacted by the shooting.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sunnunu says the state is ready to offer any other help that may be needed. Sununu released a statement saying, “New Hampshire state officials have been in touch with our counterparts in Maine to offer and provide any medical and safety resources needed as they manage this horrific situation.”
Officials with the New Hampshire Information and Analysis Center say the department is assisting by sharing information among local law enforcement.
Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn is calling on people to keep their eyes out for the suspect, pictured below. Quinn said, “We are asking all New Hampshire residents to stay vigilant. If you see something suspicious, report it to local authorities or 911.”
A spokesperson for Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says their office has reached out to the office of Maine Gov. Janet Mills to offer any help they can provide.
Officials with Vermont State Police said that Col. Matthew Birmingham has been in touch with the Director of Maine State Police, Col. William G. Ross.
Maine State Police have not requested any resources from VSP at this time, but Col. Ross was grateful for the offer, according to a release from VSP.
Officials say there is no evidence that the suspect in the Maine mass shooting is traveling to Vermont, or that there is any present danger to Vermonters, but they asked people to be vigilant nonetheless.
The Red Cross of Northern New England has been sending blood to aid victim’s recovery. In a statement sent to WFFF/WVNY News officials said, “The American Red Cross has provided 175 blood products to Maine hospitals in response to this tragedy. We stand ready to deliver additional blood products as needed. We stand ready to provide additional blood products as needed.”
They went on to encourage people to donate blood in response to the tragedy. The Red Cross Center in Auburn, Maine, the town neighboring Lewiston, is closed on Thurs. out of caution in response to the shooting.
Both Governors Scott and Sununu posted on ‘X’, formerly known as twitter, to share their condolences to the victims and their families.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger released a statement on the shooting, saying he finds it shocking due to the similarities between Burlington and Lewiston, two New England college towns of similar size.
Weinberger’s statement said, “Even amidst a climate in which American mass shootings have become routine, the events unfolding in Maine are shocking. This time, the tragedy is taking place in a New England college city much like Burlington. The community life of Lewiston, Maine is one that we know and understand. As a city of neighbors, we know what it is like to walk into any bar, restaurant, or bowling alley and see friends, schoolmates, coworkers, and family. Yet, the devastation and terror that Lewiston and surrounding communities are faced with this morning is unimaginable and horrifying.”