At least 16 people have been killed and dozens of others injured in shootings in the US city of Lewiston, Maine, law enforcement officials said.

Two officials told AP the shootings happened on Wednesday evening at a bar and bowling alley.

The officials were not authorised to publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Investigators were still processing the crime scenes and working to gather evidence.

Police were searching for the man who opened fire at two locations in the Maine city.

The man identified as a person of interest in the mass killing is a firearms instructor trained by the military and was recently committed to a mental health facility, according to a state police bulletin.

The Herald: , an unidentified gunman points a gun while entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine , an unidentified gunman points a gun while entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine (Image: AP)

The bulletin says the man, Robert Card, had been trained as a firearms instructor at a US Army Reserve training facility in Maine.

The document says Card had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks in the summer of 2023.

It did not provide specific details about his treatment or condition.

The document also said Card had reported hearing voices and had threatened to carry out a shooting at the military training base in Saco, Maine.

Lewiston Police confirmed in a Facebook post that Card was a person of interest in the shooting and said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Lewiston Police said in an earlier Facebook post that they were dealing with an active shooter incident at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley four miles away.

“Please stay off the roads to allow emergency responders access to the hospitals,” police said.

One bowler, who identified himself only as Brandon, said he heard about 10 shots, thinking the first was a balloon popping.

“I had my back turned to the door. And as soon as I turned and saw it was not a balloon — he was holding a weapon — I just booked it,” he told The Associated Press.

The sheriff’s office said the suspect was still at large.

“We are encouraging all businesses to lock down and or close while we investigate,” the sheriff’s office reported.

A spokesperson for Maine Department of Public Safety urged residents to stay in their homes with their doors locked.

“Law enforcement is currently investigating at two locations right now,” Shannon Moss said.

“Again please stay off the streets and allow law enforcement to diffuse the situation.”

An order for residents and business owners to stay inside and off the streets of the city of 37,000 was extended on Wednesday night from Lewiston to Lisbon, about eight miles (13km) away, after a “vehicle of interest” was found there, authorities said.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office released two photos of the suspect on its Facebook page that showed a gunman walking into an establishment with a weapon raised to his shoulder.