Suspect in shooting at NH church held on attempted murder charge

PELHAM, N.H. (WHDH) - A 37-year-old man accused of shooting two people — a bride and a bishop — during a wedding ceremony at a church in Pelham, New Hampshire, on Saturday has been ordered held without bail.

Dale Holloway waived his appearance Tuesday in Hillsborough Superior Court, where he was slated to be arraigned on charges including attempted murder, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, second-degree assault and simple assault. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Officers responding to a reported shooting at the New England Pentecostal Church on Bridge Street just after 10 a.m. learned Holloway had shot Bishop Stanley Choate, 75, in the upper chest and bride Claire McMullen, 60, in the arm with a .38 caliber handgun during her wedding ceremony, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said.

Holloway is also charged with hitting the groom, 60-year-old Mark Castiglione, with his handgun.

Some of the approximately 40 guests at the wedding “gang tackled” Holloway and held him down until police arrived, according to Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark.

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Choate was transported to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he is listed in serious condition.

McMullen was taken to a local hospital and is now recovering from her injuries. Castiglione was also hospitalized and released.

Holloway has a lengthy criminal history. He pleaded guilty in 2003 to armed assault with intent to murder in Boston and in 2012, he was charged with rape in Plymouth. He was released from prison in Massachusetts last December

And investigators say Holloway is the stepson of Minister Luis Garcia, who was killed earlier this month. His funeral was set to take place after the wedding.

Brandon Castiglione is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with Garcia’s killing. He is the son of groom Mark Castiglione, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati, but he backed away from calling the attack a revenge shooting.

“I don’t think I’m comfortable saying that necessarily this is just a revenge shooting at this point,” Agati said. “We’re still investigating the other aspects of this.”

New England Pentecostal Ministries put out a statement on their Facebook page saying services will be canceled from Oct 12. through Oct. 20.

Holloway is due back in court at next week.

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