Tyler Barnard shows a photo Tuesday of his brother Artie Strout, who was murdered Oct. 25 at Schemengees Bar & Grille in one of two mass shootings in Lewiston. Barnard set up a GoFundMe page for his brother’s family. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

AUBURN — Tyler Barnard was driving late into the day on his UPS route near Brownfield and Denmark the night of the mass shooting in Lewiston that killed his brother Arthur “Artie” Strout and 17 others, and injured 13 more. His UPS scanner went off alerting him of a shooting in Lewiston and then the calls started coming in.

It’s a sound that still haunts him.

“When they send messages in, it makes this weird sound,” Barnard said. “So, I’ll get a message on my DIAD (delivery information acquisition device) now and I’ll like, freak out.”

“The last message I got (that night) was ‘Hey there’s a shooting here … a shooting here.’ So, I get really bad anxiety … every time my scanner goes off.”

His brother Artie, his friend Justin Karcher and father, Arthur Barnard, were all playing pool at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Lincoln Street that night. Tyler was supposed to meet them there, but his workload forced his plans to change.

Karcher and Strout were shot by Robert Card at Schemengees that night; Karcher remains the last survivor still in the hospital. Tyler Barnard said his dad left the bar before the shooting and was headed home to Topsham when he got a call about the shooting.


By the time Tyler Barnard got back to Lewiston from his route, the scene at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley on Mollison Way was sealed off by swarms of police. His home is close by off Main Street, but he couldn’t get there. He called his wife and told her to take their two kids to the second floor and secure the house.

In the initial aftermath of the shootings, he described the scene at Central Maine Medical Center as chaotic. The family, he said, was first told that his brother Artie was alive. They were told to go to the reunification center in Auburn just before midnight and to expect a bus with survivors.

By 5 a.m. there was still no bus, no word on Artie’s fate. Barnard said it wasn’t until 2 p.m. the next day that they were told Artie was dead.

Artie Strout

Arthur “Artie” Strout is surrounded by four of his children in this photo taken around 2013. Submitted photo


Barnard is no stranger to tragedy or adversity in his life.

When he was 15, he lost a close friend in a plane crash in 2006 that killed the pilot and three Lewiston High School students in the Air Force Jr. ROTC program.


In the past three months, five family members and friends have died, including his grandmother, an uncle and now his brother. “How are you supposed to grieve for five people in a matter of three months? I can’t even process it,” he said Tuesday morning.

Going back to work, when he’s been able to, has been a distraction, but Barnard said it doesn’t help. “I sit in a truck anywhere between eight to 14 hours out of the day, listening to a motor roar, and I get to sit in my own thoughts every day.”

He said he’s only been able to work a few days in the past month, which is adding more stress because while his employer will give him time off, he doesn’t get paid for those days. He had to get help to pay November’s rent.

“It’s all mental. I know it will go away,” he said. “I keep having like weird dreams, bad dreams, as if I’m there with them and like we both get shot. And all you do is sit there and you see … he turns over and he says everything is going to be OK. And then the gunman walks back over and then puts a bunch of bullets in us.”

Barnard said going to the Maine Resiliency Center has been helpful, and the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce and the community in general have been great to the family.

“It’s actually really remarkable how well the community has come together to help Kristy out so much,” referring to Artie’s wife and his sister-in-law. “I have like seven turkeys in my freezer right now, because she does not have a place to put ’em.”


Tyler Barnard talks Tuesday about the aftermath of his brother’s murder Oct. 25 at Schmengees Bar & Grille in Lewiston. Barnard said he suffers a recurring dream of lying on the floor of the bar with his brother, who tells him things will be OK, before the shooter opens fire at both of them. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


Artie Strout married Kristy Walsh in 2016. Together they had a blended family of five children: Marcus Strout-Caron, Milo Everett, Summer Palmer, Logan Palmer and Brianna Strout.

Barnard established a GoFundMe account for Kristy Strout and the children, which has raised $66,000 as of this week. But Barnard is worried it won’t be enough in the long run, equating it to one person’s salary for one year.

“She lost her husband. The kids lost their father, so yeah, the kids definitely need as much help as possible, especially as days keep going.”

Strout and her family are also eligible for money from the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund, although it could be months before distribution amounts are decided.

Artie Strout

Tyler Barnard, left, and his brother Arthur “Artie” Strout about six years ago at a family Thanksgiving gathering. Submitted photo

Last week all the victims faced two milestones: Thanksgiving, their first holiday, and two days later the one-month mark after the shootings.


Nicole Hockley, the co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Sandy Hook Promise, discussed the significance of these milestones in an interview with the Sun Journal on Nov. 2.

“Every day is another milestone. It’s the first birthday, it’s the first Thanksgiving, or Hanukkah, or Christmas,” she said, adding, “The anxiety that can build up before them is unfathomable.”

Asked if the one-month mark offered the family any closure, Barnard said it’s hard to say. “Everybody grieves differently. Everybody’s still having a hard time from it, period.”

He drove to Schemengees on Saturday, Nov. 25, and said he just sat there and thought. It’s the third time he’s been back since the shootings. He said the first time, he ran into one of the other victim’s family members.

“I ran into one of the ladies who was picking up her husband’s truck,” Barnard recounted. “I felt so bad. I’ve run into her like four times now. And every single time I see her, I give her the biggest hug in the world.”

He said he could tell she was devastated. “You could just see it in her face that, you know, and I was just like, can I have a hug? I’ve never been hugged so tight in my life.”


Kristy Strout is holding it together and taking care of the kids, Barnard said. But he said the teens are having a difficult time, with the youngest daughter posting on TikTok while an older sister posted a 10-minute video on Instagram, in both cases to vocalize their feelings.

He shared the older daughter’s video, which he said was difficult to watch even for him. In the video, she talks about how much she misses her father, the pain evident in her eyes. Barnard said she misses the little things, like hugs and going on a car ride with her dad Artie to calm her down when she gets anxious.

Thanksgiving for the large and blended family was tough.

“Thanksgiving was really hard for me,” Barnard said, “because when I was younger, we always, I always went to like five Thanksgivings,” noting that his brother Artie’s house was always one of those stops.

Artie and Kristy

Artie and Kristy Strout from 2019. Submitted photo

The intent was to keep it as normal as possible for the gathering of between 40 and 45 people. There were, of course, leftovers, which Barnard said they packed up and took down to the hospital for the people working in the intensive care unit.

Christmas will no doubt be challenging as well, he predicts, because it’s not traditionally a holiday that they spend with his wife’s family. “That’s what happens when, you know, we get older, and we get married and we have kids.”


They haven’t made any plans, saying they’re taking things day-by-day.


For now, Barnard said every day he tries to do something to keep busy and keep going, but he admits it’s not always easy at this stage. The pain is clear, and he offered a simple analogy to explain it.

“Say you go to the Salvation Army, and you buy a book and there’s a whole chapter completely ripped right out,” he started, “and the chapter is toward the end of the book. And now you’re pissed, ’cause, where’s the story. You know what I mean? So, do you recreate it? Do you rewrite it? Do you try to figure it out yourself?” he asked. “It’s one of those things you don’t know what to do. I still don’t even know what to do.”

Barnard said he isn’t angry about the shootings but insists he just wants the situation fixed. “Like I don’t want it to happen again,” he said firmly. “How many more times does this stuff have to happen?” referring to mass shootings in this country.

“I want my brother back,” he said.

As the conversation circles back to Kristy Strout’s children trying to understand the enormity of their father’s death, Barnard said part of him wishes the kids were younger, so they don’t remember as much, drawing once again on his own experiences.

“I was just 8 years old when my grandfather passed away,” he said, “and I don’t remember much of it.”

Yet, at the same time, he said they are old enough to have good memories of their father. “That’s one thing that I can say that I’m kind of happy that they’re older. They can actually remember their father … and at least they have memories. Yeah. That will forever, always be there.”

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