The names of those killed in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday in a mass shooting are starting to come in.
The first known victim was a longstanding bowling instructor who, according to family members, died valiantly defending young people.
According to his daughter-in-law Cassandra, Bob Violette, 76, was reared in Lewiston and was an enthusiastic bowler who played in leagues and on most mornings.
Family members recalled that Violette and his nearly 50-year wife, Lucy, started playing the sport together after retirement.
But Violette developed a strong interest in the game and started a kid’s bowling league at the Just-In-Time Recreation (formerly Sparetime) bowling alley.
“He wouldn’t let you walk out the door without giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek,” Cassandra said, “He was just there for everything.”
The former Sears technician taught kids how to bowl on Wednesday nights by taking part in the youth league.
Cassandra stated he put money aside to purchase iPads and iPhones so he could capture high-quality videos of the kids in his league and aid in their development.
She remembered, “He loved those kids, all of them.”
The shooting also injured Violette’s wife. Her health status is unclear.
Employees at the bowling alley remember the retiree as always having a warm presence.
“So kind, and he was always super understanding. He was very patient with everybody,” co-worker Brandon Dubuc told Boston’s WBZ-TV.
Dubuc said Violette helped with the youth league for as long as he could remember: “There wasn’t a kid that he wouldn’t help.
“He was just always a warm presence.”
Violette is survived by his wife, their three children, Andrew, Tom, and John, and six grandchildren.
Tricia Asselin, 53, a part-time employee at Just-In-Time Recreation, was shot as she ran to the counter and dialed 911.
“What I’m told is that when it all started happening, she ran up to the counter and started to call 911, and that’s when she was shot,” Asselin’s brother, DJ Johnson, told CNN.
“That was just her. She wasn’t going to run. She was going to try and help.”
The grieving brother said his baby sister was the rock of the family and kept everyone on an even keel.
“She and I talked probably three or four times a week, and we texted every day,” Johnson said.
“Her son was her entire life. From the day he was born to yesterday. She did everything for him… he was her world.”
Joseph Walker, the manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille, was one of the eight victims killed at the restaurant.
“Oh boy, right now it’s just what are we going to do tomorrow or the next day, and how we’re going to handle all this,” Leroy, Walker’s father, told MSNBC.
Leroy said the family waited more than 14 hours to find out what happened to his son.
“Just totally a nightmare, none of us slept, we were up all night, we didn’t know where to go, who to turn to,” the heartbroken father added.
“Joe was a great, great son, loving husband. He had two grandchildren and a stepson living at home with him.
“Loved thousands of people, and thousands of people loved him. He started all the sports games that Schemengees was doing for the past few years, he has grown that business tremendously.
“He’d help anybody, work with anybody, turn on any type of tournament that would raise money for any groups.
“A hell of a loss for the community – It’s still a nightmare.”
The heavy-hearted father revealed he lost his daughter in a car accident over 25 years ago.