Patrick Dempsey Says He’s 'Heartbroken' After 'Senseless' Mass Shooting in His Maine Hometown

The 'Grey's Anatomy' alum expressed his sorrow for his hometown of Lewiston, Maine, where he founded his Dempsey Center to provide care and support for people affected by cancer

Karwai Tang/WireImage Patrick Dempsey
Karwai Tang/WireImage Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey is sharing his devastation after a mass shooting took place in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine, claiming the lives of 18 people and injuring another 13.

The Grey’s Anatomy alum, 57, posted a statement to his Instagram on Thursday, expressing his sorrow over the recent events in his hometown.

“I am shocked, and deeply saddened by last night’s tragedy in my hometown, Lewiston, Maine,” he wrote. “Maine’s great strength is its sense of community, and now we are being asked to come together to support everyone that has been devastated by this senseless act.”

“My family and I are heartbroken for their victims, their families, and the community,” the actor concluded.

Related: Maine Shootings: What We Know About 'Armed and Dangerous' Suspect, Now Wanted for Murders

Eighteen people were killed and 13 were injured during a mass shooting on Wednesday, which occurred at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar and Grille, about four miles away, in Lewiston, Maine.

Lewiston has a population of about 38,500, and is the second-most populous city in the state after Portland, which sits about 35 miles to the south. It's the home of Bates College and the Dempsey Center, founded by Dempsey to provide support for people afflicted with cancer.

The Enchanted actor opened the center in 2008 in honor of his late mother Amanda, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997. Per their website, the Dempsey Center provides personalized and comprehensive cancer care at no cost. They also have another location in South Portland.

Related: Patrick Dempsey on His Mom's Legacy After Losing Her to Cancer: 'This Is the Purpose for Living' (Exclusive)

During a press conference on Wednesday night, Public Safety Commissioner for the Governor's Office Mike Sauschuck said the violence in Lewiston began at about 6:56 p.m.

The suspect, Robert Card, was described by Governor Janet Mills as being "armed and dangerous." He remained at large Thursday afternoon, as a shelter-in-place issued earlier by the Maine Department of Public Safety was extended.

Because of this, many businesses — including the Dempsey Center — were closed to the public on Thursday. Scheduled events, like Pete Davidson and John Mulaney's comedy shows set for this weekend in Maine, have also been postponed in the wake of the tragedy.

Related: 'My Heart Is Crushed' Says Owner of Restaurant Targeted by Maine Mass Shooter Who Killed at Least 16

<p>JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images</p> Police at Schemengees Bar Wednesday's mass shooting occurred


Police at Schemengees Bar Wednesday's mass shooting occurred

Lewiston police have posted numerous photos of the suspect, who appears to be holding an assault rifle, on the agency's Facebook page. Police also posted a photo of what they believe to be the suspect's car.

Eight of the fatal victims have been identified, so an arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect on eight counts of murder.

Related: Maine Residents Describe 'Eerie' Feeling with Mass Shooting Suspect at Large: 'None of Us Feel Safe'

Army Spokesman Bryce Dubee tells PEOPLE that the suspect is a Petroleum Supply Specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve. The Associated Press, citing a state police bulletin, reported the suspect is a military-trained firearms instructor who had recently been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this past summer.

According to the bulletin, the suspect had threatened to perpetrate a shooting at a military base in Saco, Maine. The bulletin also says the suspect had said he'd heard voices.

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At Thursday's press conference, Col. William Ross of the Maine State Police encouraged people who come into contact with the suspect or anyone resembling him to call 911.

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