Gunman Allegedly Storms New Hampshire Wedding And Shoots Bride, Groom and Bishop

When police responded to the Pelham church, members of the wedding party were allegedly holding Dale Holloway down, after wresting his gun from him. 

By Dorian Geiger
Digital Original
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A man is in custody after allegedly storming a church and opening fire on a wedding on Saturday.

Dale Holloway, 37, was arrested over the weekend in connection with the church shooting and charged with attempted murder, firearm possession, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and simple assault, according to a New Hampshire Department of Justice press release

Authorities said Holloway burst into New England Pentecostal Church in Pelham, about 40 miles north of Boston, on Oct. 12, and shot the bride, Claire McMullen, in the arm and pistol-whipped the groom, Mark Castiglione. Holloway is also accused of shooting Bishop Stanley Choate in the chest.

Choate is currently hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, officials said. He’s listed in serious condition. Castiglione was treated and released from hospital, and McMullen was expected to be released from the hospital over the weekend. Police said two other wedding guests also suffered injuries during the alleged attack. 

Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from the church on Saturday, shortly after Holloway allegedly began firing. 

“The caller reported that a man came in and shot at the presiding bishop,” according to the police press release.

Dale Holloway Pd

"I saw a figure in black just run right up the stairs and face the bishop," described the groom’s father, Angel Castiglione, according to local ABC affiliate WMUR.

The "bishop turned around," he said. "Just 'boom, boom' and then [the suspect] turned around and aimed at my son and his future wife."

Investigators said they found a group of wedding guests “pinning [Holloway] down on the ground” when they arrived at the church.

"From my understanding, they basically gang-tackled [Holloway]," Pelham police chief Joseph Roark said, WMUR also reported.

One of Castiglione’s family members supposedly jumped the gunman, and the pair flew down a flight of stairs before wedding guests managed to get the gun away from Holloway. 

“It's just a shame,” the groom’s father added. “It's the world we live in today, unfortunately. Nothing is safe.”

The shooting, police said, “does not appear to be a random event.”

Detectives are now looking into whether the shooting is connected to the murder of pastor Luis Garcia, who Brandon Castiglione, the groom’s son, is accused of killing earlier this month, WMUR reported. Garcia, who was found dead in his Londonderry home on Oct. 1, reportedly worked in the same parish where last weekend’s shooting occurred.

"We are certainly looking into that right now ... whether there is, in fact, a clear connection between these two events,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati told the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“That is something we're trying to put together," Agati added. “I think the motive for his actions will take a little more digging.”

Oxygen.com was unable to reach Agati for comment.

The Union Leader also reported that a memorial for Garcia had originally been scheduled to take place following the wedding at the same church where the shooting happened. 

"It's just surreal," said Donna MacIver, who witnessed the wedding day shooting, according to WBUR. "Luis was shot, and now there's a shooting at his church."

The New England Pentecostal Church has canceled services this week and provided crisis counselors to parishioners while police continue to investigate. 

Holloway’s arraignment is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court, according to Kate Spiner, a spokesperson for the New Hampshire office of the attorney general. He’s being held without bail.

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