LEWISTON — A local woman died Sunday after being stabbed in front of a laundromat on Sabattus Street, police said.
The victim was identified as Kimberly Dobbie, 48, who lived at Hope Haven Gospel Mission on Lincoln Street, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Dobbie had just started a load of laundry at Rancourt’s Laundromat at about 10 a.m. Sunday when she stepped outside the building with her two children and was assaulted and stabbed, McCausland said.
She was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where she died Sunday afternoon, he said.
Her sons witnessed the attack, according to McCausland. Those sons are 11-year-old twins, according to Dobbie’s Facebook page.
Bystanders who witnessed the assault tackled the assailant until Lewiston Police arrived. The suspect, who was hospitalized Sunday night with chest pains, was being questioned by police.
McCausland said Dobbie and her assailant knew each another. McCausland said he had no additional details about their relationship or the confrontation outside the laundromat.
Lori Cloutier, a friend of Dobbie, said Sunday night she is planning a candlelight vigil, which she expected would begin at about 9 p.m. Monday night on Sabattus Street.
“She was one of the nicest people in the world, just one of the nicest people you would ever meet,” Cloutier said of Dobbie. “And this is very difficult for the boys.”
State and Lewiston police were continuing their investigations Sunday night the incident. McCausland said an autopsy would likely be done Monday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.
The homicide is the latest burst of violence in Lewiston in recent weeks.
On Friday, police responded to six to 12 gunshots near Horton Street, where spent shells were found in a driveway behind The Washtub laundromat at Horton and Walnut streets. No injuries were reported.
The previous weekend, three men were arrested July 7 in connection with reports of gunshots fired in the downtown area earlier in the day. No victim was found, but several people reported hearing at least five gunshots at about 6 a.m., near the corner of Bartlett and Walnut streets.
In June, a Lewiston man died after being struck in the head during a brawl near Kennedy Park. Police did not provide details Sunday, but said tensions have escalated at Kennedy Park over the past month, including at least three confrontations between groups.
Noel K. Gallagher of the Portland Press Herald contributed to this report.