New England Regional News

Bishop, Bride Shot During Wedding at NH Church; Suspect ID’d

What to Know

  • A bishop and a woman were shot after a gunman opened fire during a wedding at a Pelham, New Hampshire church, Saturday.

  • The suspect, Dale Holloway, 37, began firing with a handgun before he was tackled by guests. He has been arrested and charged by police.

  • Bishop Stanley Choate suffered a gunshot wound to the upper chest and is in serious condition at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

A bishop and a woman were shot and a suspect was in custody Saturday after a gunman opened fire during a wedding in Pelham, New Hampshire, authorities said.

One of the gunshot victims has been identified as Bishop Stanley Choate, according to the New Hampshire attorney general’s office. He was transported to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where his condition is serious, authorities said.

The second shooting victim, 60-year-old Claire McMullen, was shot in the arm, the New Hampshire district attorney said. She is receiving treatment at a local hospital and is in good condition.

The shooting occurred at New England Pentecostal Church on Bridge Street some time after 10:12 a.m., Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark said. Guests at the wedding tackled and subdued the male shooter by the time authorities arrived, Roark added. 

Upon arrival, authorities found a man and woman suffering from gunshot wounds.

The suspect has been identified as 37-year-old Dale Holloway, the attorney general’s office said. Authorities earlier said the suspect’s last name was “Halloway.”

He has been arrested and charged with alternative counts of purposely and knowingly causing bodily injury by means of a deadly weapon.

One other victim, Mark Castiglione, 60, who was not shot, suffered a head injury from being struck with an object, authorities said. He was treated at a local hospital and released Saturday.

McMullen and Castiglione were the bridge and groom in the wedding, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati.

“This does not seem to be a random event,” Roark told reporters.

No deaths were reported in connection with the shooting.

Roark said the wedding — attended by some 40 guests — had begun by the time the gunman entered the building and fired a handgun. He added that a funeral was scheduled at the church after the wedding. 

Other guests “basically gang-tackled” the suspect, Roark said.

Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement that the state would “provide all necessary resources to support the community and our local partners” to deal with the incident. 

A man named Geraldo Pagan told reporters he came to the church for an event to honor the life of fatal shooting victim Luis Garcia, a beloved priest whose body was found at his Londonderry home earlier this month.

Brandon Castiglione, 24, was charged Oct. 2 with second-degree murder in the death of Garcia, who was 60.

Sunday services at the church had been cancelled.

In a tweet, Sen. Maggie Hassan said she was “deeply disturbed” by the incident. 

“Today was supposed to serve as a celebration of the life of Minister Luis Garcia. This senseless violence can’t continue — my prayers are with the victims of this terrible attack,” she said. 

The Boston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the Manchester, New Hampshire field office responded to the scene.

The shooting remained under investigation by the attorney general’s office and state police. 

The suspect will be arraigned on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Hillsborough District Court in Nashua, NH.

Route 38 near St. Margaret’s Drive Roadway was closed due to police activity. Bridge St was closed between Wellesley Drive and Old Gage Hill Road.

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