Wedding guests tackle gunman who shot two at New Hampshire church

This article is more than 4 weeks old
  • Police chief says church received active shooter training
  • Adds shooting ‘does not seem to be a random event’
It was unknown if the two people shot were part of the wedding party or were there as guests.
It was unknown if the two people shot were part of the wedding party or were there as guests. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

A gunman opened fire at a wedding ceremony inside a New Hampshire church on Saturday, shooting two people before guests tackled the attacker and held him until police arrived, authorities said.

Pelham police chief Joseph Roark said no fatalities were reported in the shooting at New England Pentecostal church.

One of the people who helped subdue the suspect, who arrived and began shooting after the wedding began, suffered minor injuries, Roark said.

A man and a woman were shot, police said. It was unknown if they were part of the ceremony or guests at the wedding.

“This does not seem to be a random event, at least at this point,” Roark told reporters.

Three people were taken to hospitals but no update on their conditions was provided. Roark said he was not aware of any injuries to the gunman. Roark did not offer a motive for the shooting. No charges were announced.

Roark said the New Hampshire attorney general’s office would provide more details of the shooting later.

Police were called to the church shortly after 10am in Pelham, a town of about 13,000 on the border with Massachusetts.

Roark said the church received active shooter training from his department within the last year. He did not know if people who subdued the shooter were trained the same way but “I think that is a standard that is being taught now to address the threat”.

A funeral was scheduled to be held at the church after the wedding, for 60-year-old Luís Garcia. Garcia, a minister at the church, was killed earlier this month. A man has been charged and is jailed.