A bride and the bishop presiding over her wedding were both shot and injured when a gunman walked into the ceremony at a New Hampshire church and opened fire.
Officials said Bishop Stanley Choate, 75, was shot in the chest, and is said to be in serious condition.
The bride, Claire McMullen, 60, was shot in the arm during the attack. The groom, Mark Castiglione, was hit in the head with an object during the shooting.
Chief Joseph Roark said in a press conference earlier on Saturday that Dale Holloway, 37, has been arrested in relation to the attack.
It’s alleged he opened fire on about 40 guests at the New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham just after 10am.
Police arrived at the scene within three minutes, and Chief Roark said that the shooter had been ‘detained and subdued’ by the wedding guests. He was then taken into custody.
‘From my understanding, they basically gang-tackled him,’ Chief Roark said.
‘There was a struggle … Minor injuries occurred to the other guests who were in the struggle with the shooter.’
He added that it ‘does not seem to be a random event’.
Bishop Stanley Choate was shot in the chest during the attack at New England Pentecostal Ministries during a wedding ceremony. The bishop and his wife Ruth (pictured with him) have been leading the church since 1987
Bishop Choate was shot in the chest during the attack, and was said to have serious injuries. The bride, Clare McMullen (not pictured) was shot in the arm
Police were called to the church in Pelham around 10am, where they found the gunman being pinned down by some of the 40 wedding guests
Dale Holloway, 37, who has been arrested for first-degree assault and counts of purposely and knowingly causing bodily injury by means of a deadly weapon
This is the second tragedy the church has faced in a week, after pastor Luis Garcia was shot and killed.
Saturday’s shooting happened as mourners started to arrive for Garcia’s funeral, which was set to take place at the same church after the wedding ceremony.
Officials are now looking into whether the shooting was connected to the funeral of Luis Garcia, who was found dead in his home in Londonderry on October 1.
Brandon Castiglione, 24, has been charged with second-degree murder in his death.
The Boston Globe reported that Brandon Castiglione was allegedly being helped by Garcia. He is also the son of the groom who was injured in Saturday’s attack.
It has been reported that the Castilione and Garcia families were known to each other.
In an obituary for Garcia, Dale Holloway was listed as a stepson. But police have not revealed the connection between the two families, or whether the man arrested in Saturday’s attack is related to Garcia.
Chief Roark said at the press conference that police were investigating whether the alleged shooter targeted specific people during the attack.
‘We have a lot of witnesses to interview, as you might expect,’ he said.
The shooting came just hours before a service was to be held for church minister Luis Garcia who was shot in the neck and killed last week. He’s pictured here with his wife Patti
Pastor Garcia (pictured with wife Patti) was allegedly helping Brandon Castiglione, who is charged with his murder
Brandon Castiglione, 24, has been charged with second-degree murder in Garcia’s death
Funeral services for Garcia were to be held at noon today at the church, but after the shooting mourners were turned away by police.
‘He was a Superman stopped by a bullet. He was a Christian Batman hit by a Joker,’ a family member said of Garcia.
The New York Police Department Counterterrorism Bureau said it is ‘closely monitoring the shooting incident at the New England Pentecostal church in Pelham, NH.’
The church website describes itself as ‘committed to touching lives dramatically and bringing aid and deliverance to all people regardless of race, creed or color throughout all generations.
‘Our church welcomes people from all parts of New England and the Northeast area.’
Bishop Choate and his wife Ruth had been leading the church since 1987.
On Facebook, Nevia Choate wrote a post identifying herself as the bishop’s neice.
She wrote: ‘A coward walked into my family’s church today at NEP New England Pentecostal Church and shot my uncle Bishop Stanley Choate. I call for anyone that knows and believes and In the GOD we serve to get on your knees and pray for my family.’
Holloway is facing charges of first-degree assault and counts of purposely and knowingly causing bodily injury by means of a deadly weapon.