The family and friends of those killed in a mass shooting in Maine this week are starting to share their memories of the victims.
Tuesday's shootings began in the small town of Bowdoin, where four people were killed, with three bodies discovered in a home and one in a barn, according to police. The victims were identified as Cynthia Eaton, 62, and David Eaton, 66, along with homeowners Robert Eger, 72, and Patricia Eger, 62, police said. The two couples were described as best friends.
The suspect in the shootings, 34-year-old Joseph Eaton, the son of Cynthia and David Eaton, is charged with four counts of murder and has been jailed since his arrest on Tuesday. Police said he confessed to killing all four people and then wounding three other people while shooting at vehicles he believed to be police cars on Interstate 295 in Yarmouth a short time after. Bullets struck a family in one of the vehicles, wounding Sean Halsey, 51; Justin Halsey, 29; and Paige Halsey, 25, police said. Paige Halsey was critically wounded, police said.
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Friends who knew Patricia Eger through her work as a volunteer and board member of Lisbon Area Christian Outreach, which operates a food pantry, described her as the deeply religious daughter of a lighthouse keeper, passionate about charity work and tirelessly helping others. She was known at the food pantry for her taco soup and her love of scrapbooking.
“She knew, automatically, what anybody needed,” said Carol Day, a fellow volunteer and one of several who gathered to remember their friend Thursday evening. “I think our community has lost a good person who cares so much about them.”
"She was loving," Priscilla Higgins, a friend told News Center Maine. "She was supportive. She'd bake for the bake sales, she'd do a fundraiser, and donate all the money to [the pantry]."
Friends also described her as being extremely helpful.
"If somebody was going through something on their own — I know, me personally, I had an accident where I was laid up for quite a while, and Patti came to the house, offered if I needed anything," Barbara Feely recalled.
Another friend, Debbie Hill, recalled the last moment she had with her friend.
“I had to leave," Hill said. "It was time, and [she] said to me, ‘Love you Deb,’ and I said, ‘I love you too.' Those were her last words to me. It made me kind of happy.”
Community members are also thinking about Paige Halsey. Officials said she continues to receive treatment at Maine Medical Center and her condition is improving.
“She is one of the nicest, sweetest people you’ll ever meet,” said Liam Kent, who has known Paige since middle school. “She always had the biggest smile on her face. I hope she gets to smile again. We all are really rooting for her.”
Police have yet to discuss what might have been a motive behind the shootings. Police also have not discussed what gun or guns were used, or how Eaton obtained them. He had been released from prison just four days before the shootings after completing a sentence for aggravated assault. Over the past decade, he has been charged with half-dozen crimes.