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Deacon 'Took a Leap of Faith,' Tackled Gunman During NH Wedding

Image Credit: ABC News
Image Credit: ABC News

A church deacon has been hailed a hero after he tackles a gunman at a wedding.

It happened Saturday morning at the New England Pentecostal Church in Pelham, New Hampshire.

The accused shooter, who's been identified as 37-year-old Dale Holloway, walked into the church after the wedding had started and shot 75-year-old Bishop Stanley Choate in the upper chest before shooting the 60-year-old bride, Claire McMullen, in the arm, according to ABC News.

Also, 60-year-old Mark Castiglione was struck in the head with an object during the incident. 

Deacon Othniel Archer was in the balcony running the soundboard at the wedding and noticed a man come in wearing a hoody.

The 59-year-old jumped from the balcony to stop the shooter, along with the help of three others and "tackled" him to the floor until police arrived.

The hooded man, according to some local news outlets, had a relative who was shot and killed by a relative of the groom. Authorities suspect that was a possible motive behind the shooting.

Archer's daughter-in-law, Denise Archer said, "Everybody started to run when they heard the shots and when the shots started and he said I need to get out of here but then he stopped and said no I can't leave and he went back and tackled the guy."

His son, Wren Archer said that his dad is just the kind of guy who helps others no matter what.

"I think it's the greatest thing ever that my dad didn't think about it, he just did it. My dad always jokes that he's played football and he was a linebacker and a quarterback and he actually tackled somebody." 

WMUR-TV in Manchester reports that Holloway is facing murder and assault charges. The New Hampshire State Police and the attorney general's office are investigating the crime, but they do not believe this is a random event.

Archer said he "took a leap of faith" when he brought the gunman to the ground. 

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