PELHAM, N.H. — Police say three people were hospitalized after a shooting at a wedding at New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham, N.H. on Saturday. Two of the people -- a church bishop and a 60-year-old woman -- sustained gunshot wounds, officials say.
Officials have identified the alleged shooter as Dale Holloway, 37, who was charged Saturday with first-degree assault. On Sunday, The New Hampshire Attorney General announced additional charges against Holloway. Those new charges include the attempted murder of the church bishop, second-degree assault, simple assault, and having possession and control of a firearm as a convicted felon.
The two people shot have been identified as Bishop Stanley Choate, 75, of New England Pentecostal Ministries and Claire McMullen, 60. Choate, who was shot in the upper chest, is in serious condition at Tufts Medical Center, per officials. As of Sunday morning, McMullen is in stable condition at a local hospital after being shot in the arm.
The third victim, 60-year-old Mark Castiglione, was hospitalized after being struck in the head with Holloway's firearm during the incident. He has since been released from Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.
McMullen and Castiglione were the respective bride and groom at the wedding on Saturday.
There were multiple events scheduled for Saturday morning, including a noon funeral service for pastor Luis Garcia, 60, who was killed earlier this month in Londonderry. The accused suspect in Garcia's death is Brandon Castiglione, 24, who is the son of the groom-to-be, Mark Castiglione.
Holloway, the accused gunman in Saturday's shooting, is Garcia's step-son, according to an online obituary for Garcia.
"We just came and we just found all these police, all this chaos," said Geraldo Pagan, a close friend of Garcia who came for his services. "They just told us that the activity would be canceled."
The incident does not appear to be random, according to preliminary investigation.
New Hampshire's Attorney General's Office said the suspected shooter was detained by guests at the wedding before his arrest.
"From my understanding they basically gang tackled him," said Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark. "There was a struggle [that] ensued, minor injuries occurred to the other guests who were in the struggle with the shooter."
One deacon's wife was beside herself when she learned her husband was inside the church when the gunman started firing shots at the altar. It wasn't until later that she found out her husband, Othniel Archer, was the one who tackled the suspected shooter to the ground.
"My husband eventually called, and he said that the young man had come into the church he sat down and was there for a couple minutes and then [the gunman] stood up and started walking toward the alter where the wedding was going on," said Anella Archer. "He then heard the shots, and then he jumped into action and he tackled the person."
Anella added that her husband was in the balcony by the sound system when he jumped down, risking his life to stop the man.
Others at the wedding quickly stepped in to detain the gunman until police arrived.
"My dad's a hero, I love my dad," said Wren Archer, Othneil's son. "When I heard he did that, I was like, 'well that makes sense because that's something he would do.' He's just a brave guy."
"Responding officers arrived within three minutes of the call," Chief Roark said.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu tweeted, saying:
Holloway was armed with a handgun when he started shooting, per police, who added that they had conducted active shooter training inside that same church within the last year.
"It's crazy, you wouldn't think it would happen here," said Donald Galloway, a neighbor who lives across the street from the church. "They're nice people over there."
State and local police were on scene at 955 Bridge Street, along with Derry and Pelham fire departments. The Attorney General and State Police Crimes Unit are investigating the shooting.
"The FBI is aware of the shooting in Pelham, NH. We are coordinating with our state and local partners as expected and offering assistance, although none has been requested," says FBI spokesperson Kristen Setera.
The town of Pelham tweeted that St. Margaret's Road is closed between Bridge Street and Orchard Lane.
Holloway is set to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon in Hillsborough County Court. He has previously been convicted of a felony in Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts.
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