Lewiston native shot on way to church ministry

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A Lewiston native was shot in the arm on her first day of volunteering at a church ministry in Rochester, N.Y.

Breana Martin, 27, was shot outside 441 Ministries as she approached the building.

“I thought it was firecrackers,” Martin said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “It stung really bad, but I initially thought it was a ricochet from a firecracker. Then I looked down and saw blood. I heard someone say, ‘She’s been hit.'”

Police on Monday arrested Sammie Griner, 21, of Rochester on charges of first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree criminal mischief. 

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He was expected to be arraigned Tuesday, the same day Martin returned to volunteer at the church which serves lunch to children and offers Bible study.

Martin, who lives in Rochester, was on Parsells Avenue in the northeast section of the city late last month when gunfire erupted. She was shot in the right biceps, police said. The bullet missed bone and nerves, a relative said.

She was taken to Strong Hospital where she was treated and discharged, according to a report published in the Democrat & Chronicle, a Rochester newspaper.

A maintenance worker at a nearby building told the newspaper he saw two males who fired shots in the street as he was heading toward his truck, against which one of the males was leaning and the other was touching. They were swearing while shooting, suggesting they were intent on killing someone, the man told a reporter.

Martin heard about the Christian ministry at her Fairport church and planned to help with Bible studies and feed lunch to neighborhood children, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

On Tuesday, Martin returned to 441 Ministries to volunteer. She colored with the children, taught them a short lesson on nutrition and helped serve food.

“The situation has made me want to go there even more — to reach out to kids who don’t know anything different,” Martin said, adding that one child didn’t know what a potato was.

Martin was to attend graduate school in New York this fall, but she may postpone it a semester. She plans to get a master’s degree in education to combine with her bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She hopes to teach English as a second language.

Martin grew up in Lewiston, where her family still lives. She attended the East Auburn Baptist Church, according to a Facebook friend. 

“She’s been very brave through this whole thing,” Martin’s aunt, Judy McMorrow, of Mechanic Falls, said. “It’s not over yet.” 

Martin, who is a waitress, was unable to lift trays while her arm healed. Tuesday was her first night back at work.

Her uncle, Dennis Martin of Oregon, set up a GoFundMe campaign to help “Bre” with medical and other expenses. 

Support for the GoFundMe campaign “would mean a lot to me,” he said.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution or to follow Breana’s story may do so at http://e.gofund.me/sht765af.

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