Pelham Church Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Pelham church shooting

Twitter/Pelham Police Department

The New England Pentecostal Ministries church in Pelham, New Hampshire, was the scene of a horrific shooting on the morning of October 12.

An alert was sent out just before 11 a.m. that read, “(OOA) Pelham, NH *SHOOTING* Bridge St – Multiple people shot at a church, mutual aid Ambulances requested, no other information available at this time, scene is active – 10/12 – 10:45.” The church is located at 955 Bridge Street in Pelham.

According to the New England Pentecostal Ministries official website, the church is led by Bishop Stanley Choate and his wife, Pastor Ruth Choate. The couple has led the church since 1987.


1. The Shooter Is in Custody, According to Reports

CBS News’ Ashley Armstrong reports that there are no deaths reported and that the shooter is in custody. It is not known if there was a service taking place in the church at the time the gunfire broke out.


2. One Report Says That Parishiners Held Down the Shooter Until the Police Arrived

Lowell General Hospital Has received one patient as a result of the shooting. The nature of the injuries suffered by those wounded is not known at the time of writing. An initial report says that the shooter was held down by parishioners until the police arrive.


3. The Shooting Is Being Investigated by the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit

The town of Pelham is located in southern New Hampshire, 23 miles south of Manchester. The shooting is being investigated by the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said in a statement, “State official are on scene assisting local first responders in the response and investigation of a shooting in Pelham, New Hampshire. While this remains a very active scene, the State of New Hampshire will provide all necessary resources to support the community and our local partners.”


4. Luis Garcia, a Minister at the Church, Was Shot Dead a Week Before the Shooting

Luis Garcia shooting new hampshire

Facebook/New England Pentecostal MinistriesLuis Garcia pictured on the New England Pentecostal Ministries Facebook page.

The Union Leader in New Hampshire reported on October 2 that a minister at the church had been killed after being shot in the neck. Garcia was shot dead on October 1. The minister was named as Luis Garcia. He was 60 years old. Brandon Castiglione, 24, has been arrested in relation to the crime. Garcia was found dead inside of Castiglione’s father’s home. The newspaper said that the Castiglione and Garcia families were known to each other through the church. One of Garcia’s family members was quoted by the Union Leader as saying the minister was a “Superman stopped by a bullet. He was a Christian Batman hit by a joker.”


5. Mourners Were Arriving at the Church for Garcia’s Funeral When the Gunfire Was Reported

WMUR’s Amy Coveno reports that a celebration of life ceremony for Garcia was due to be held at noon on the day of the shooting.

The Union Leader reports that mourners were beginning to arrive for Garcia’s funeral when the shooting occurred.

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