2 Shot at Pelham Church, Wedding Guests Subdue Shooter

Oct 12, 2019

Police said two people were shot during a wedding at a church in Pelham, N.H., on Saturday morning.

Officers rushed to the New England Pentecostal Church on Bridge Street in Pelham just after 10 a.m. Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark said two people were shot while the wedding ceremony was proceeding.

As officers arrived at the church, they found that wedding guests had wrestled the shooter to the floor, Roark said during a news conference. "Guests at the wedding subdued the shooter,"  he said. "From my understanding, they basically gang-tackled him."

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office said Dale Holloway, 37, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bishop Stanley Choate, the presiding bishop of the wedding, was shot in the chest and is being treated at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he was listed in serious condition.

The AG's office said Claire McMullen, 60,  the bride, was shot in the arm, and is listed in good condition at a local hospital, while Mark Castiglione, 60, was struck in the head with a firearm. Castiglione was treated and released from the hospital.

Holloway is due to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court South, in Nashua.

Holloway is the stepson of a Luis "Kiko" Alberto Garcia, local minister who was shot and killed Oct. 1, Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati confirmed.  

The church was preparing Saturday for the noon funderal services for Garcia. The AG reported that Brandon Castiglione, 24, was arrested Oct. 2 and charged with killing Garcia. Mark Castiglione, the groom at the wedding, is the father of the man charged with killing Garcia, Agati said.

Those planning to attend the Garcia service were shocked by the shooting. Donna MacIver of Weymouth, Mass., was there with her husband and son. "It's very surreal. It's just surreal," she said. "Luis was shot and now there's a shooting at his church."

"We're all devastated," said Norman MacIver, her husband.

Other parishioners and friends were saying prayers outside the police tape.

Pastor Willie Bacote had arrived to celebrate the life of his friend. "I'm at a loss for words," he said. "Luis was a man with so much joy - he had so much joy to offer everyone."

New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham, N.H.
Credit Google Maps

Pelham is a town of about 13,000 residents located on the border with Massachusetts.

(This is a developing story and it will be updated with additional information Saturday. WBUR provided additional reporting. Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.

This post was updated Saturday night and Sunday, Oct. 13, with more information.)