Suspect Sought in Fatal N.J. Church Shooting

Published November 24, 2008

Posted Nov. 24, 2008 – Police are looking for a New Jersey gunman who entered a Clifton church, fatally shot his wife and injured two other people.

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The gunman, who police identified as 27-year-old Joseph Pallipurath, drove from California to New Jersey and entered the St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church about noon on Sunday, police say.

Witnesses said Pallipurath fired at least three shots during the service, which was attended by about 200 people.

“Kids were crying. People were screaming,” Suja Alummoottil, told The Bergen County Record. “It was chaotic.”

Clifton Police Detective Capt. Robert Rowan identified the victim as 24-year-old Reshma James. The other two victims suffered serious wounds and were being treated at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson. Hospital officials would not comment on the extent of their injuries or condition.

Rowan said James had recently moved from California to New Jersey to escape an abusive marriage and had filed a restraining order against Pallipurath.

Pallipurath is believed to be driving a green 2004 Jeep with a black soft top and California license plates.

Written by BET-Staff

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