New Hampshire Church Shooting Update: Officials Say Attack At Pelham Church Is Not Terrorism Related

Police cars at a crime scene.
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A shooting at a New Hampshire church was not believed to be terrorism related, officials have told reporters in the wake of the attack in the town of Pelham.

As USA Today reported, the shooting took place Saturday morning outside a church in Pelham, prompting a massive response from local and state police as well as fire trucks and ambulances. The shooting at New England Pentacostal Ministries took place during a memorial service for the church’s late minister, Luis Garcia, who was killed after being shot in the neck.

Reports indicate that as many as four people were shot and one person was taken to a local hospital, though the specifics of their injuries was not reported, nor was the person’s condition. There were no reported fatalities.

Local and state officials have responded as well, taking note of the immediate and massive response.

“State officials are on scene assisting local first responders in the response and investigation of a shooting in Pelham, NH,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said in a tweet. “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.”

Though details on Saturday’s shooting remained unclear, WHDH reporter Steve Cooper said officials declared it was not terrorism related. There have been a number of domestic terrorism-related attacks on places of worship in recent years, including a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year that left 11 people dead. There have been other attacks at churches that were not terrorism related as well. In 2017, a man opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in an attack that killed 26 people.

The Pelham church shooting also took place during a meeting of men and women tied to Domestic Abuse Month that was being held at 9:30 a.m. inside the building, USA Today noted. Authorities did not say if the shooting was related to that event.

The shooting and the massive response it prompted led to a shutdown of some nearby areas, NBC Boston reported.

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“Authorities said Route 38 near St. Margaret’s Drive Roadway was closed due to police activity. Bridge St was closed between Wellesley Drive and Old Gage Hill Road,” the report noted.

Police reportedly took one person into custody, though they did not reveal any details about the person’s identity or if it was believed to have been the shooter who was arrested.