New Hampshire wedding shooter may have been avenging late stepfather's murder, authorities say

The groom's son was charged with in the death of the suspect's stepfather.

October 13, 2019, 11:31 PM

A New Hampshire man may have been seeking revenge when he stormed into a wedding ceremony with a handgun over the weekend, injuring the bishop as well as the bride and groom, authorities said Sunday.

Dale Holloway, 37, allegedly opened fire at the New England Pentecostal Ministries church in Pelham at around 10 a.m. on Saturday, wounding Bishop Stanley Choate, 75, and bride Claire McMullen, according to the Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

Choate, who suffered a single gunshot to the chest, was in serious condition as of Sunday afternoon and McMullen, 60, was recovering from a gunshot to the arm, the office said.

Mark Castiglione, the groom, was struck in the head with a gun and investigators are working to see if he may have been the intended target.

PHOTO: Dale Holloway in a police booking photo.
Dale Holloway in a police booking photo.
Pelham Police Department

Officers responded around 10:12 a.m. Saturday and found Holloway subdued by multiple guests of the wedding, police said. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

Investigators have not revealed a direct motive in the case, but they are exploring Holloway's ties to the 60-year-old Castiglione, who is the father of the man accused of fatally shooting Holloway's stepfather, Luis Garcia, according to the attorney general's office.

Garcia, a parishioner at New England Pentecostal Ministries, was killed earlier this month and police charged Brandon Castiglione, the groom's son, with second-degree murder in the case.

Garcia's funeral was scheduled to take place at the church immediately following the wedding.

PHOTO: In this photo provided by WMUR-TV, police stand outside the New England Pentecostal Church after reports of a shooting on Oct. 12, 2019, in Pelham, N.H.
In this photo provided by WMUR-TV, police stand outside the New England Pentecostal Church after reports of a shooting on Oct. 12, 2019, in Pelham, N.H.
Siobhan Lopez/WMUR-TV via AP

"We're certainly looking into whether that was the motive for the event, but there are a lot of different things in play with regards to the individuals who attended this church and with regard to the people who were present at the wedding," Benjamin Agati, senior assistant attorney general for New Hampshire, told ABC News on Sunday. "We are looking into [Luis Garcia's death] as a possible connection, but we don't have specific evidence to say that clearly was the motivation at this time."

As of Sunday evening, Holloway was being held pending his arraignment, which is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday. He was originally charged with first-degree assault, but prosecutors levied four additional charges against him on Sunday.

Holloway was also charged Sunday with attempted murder, for shooting Choate; being a felon in possession of a firearm; second-degree assault, for the shooting of McMullen; and simple assault for striking Castiglione in the head, the office said.

Agati said the decision to seek additional charges came as prosecutors gained "a better understanding of the events that happened inside."

"Each one of those charges have different elements and a lot of them, of course, not only involve the actions that are alleged against Mr. Holloway, but also the intent behind those actions." Agati said. "As we developed more information, it became clear that he had conducted the shooting of Mr. Choate with the purpose that a murder be committed."

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