CLIFTON, N.J. — A gunman drove across the country to confront his estranged wife, then killed her in a church vestibule as Sunday services let out, authorities said. Two other people were injured in the attack, which sent churchgoers scrambling for safety.
The gunman fled, and authorities were searching for him and warned people that he was believed to be armed.
About 200 people were attending services inside St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church in Clifton when the gunman opened fire before noon. Police Detective Capt. Robert Rowan identified the slain woman as 24-year-old Reshma James and the gunman as 27-year-old Joseph M. Pallipurath of Sacramento, Calif.
Police did not identify the other two victims, but Rowan told The Star-Ledger of Newark that all three were shot in the head and that the other two, a 47-year-old woman and 23-year-old man, were in critical 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.
California: Gas prices break $2 mark
A national survey from Camarillo shows gas prices across the nation dropped to less than $2 a gallon for the first time since March 2005. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline at self-serve stations was $1.97 Friday, falling 33 cents over the last two weeks. Mid-grade was at $2.12 and premium was at $2.24. That’s according to the Lundberg Survey of 5,000 gas stations nationwide, released Sunday. Gas was cheapest in St. Louis, at $1.89 for a gallon of regular. It was most expensive in Honolulu, at $2.81.
Georgia: Military school protested
Demonstrators renewed their call Sunday to shutter a school on a Georgia Army base for Latin American military and government officials and say they’re optimistic President-elect Barack Obama or a more sympathetic Congress will act within the next year.School of Americas Watch protests each November outside Fort Benning to mark the 1989 killings of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador. A United Nations panel concluded that some of the killers had attended the School of Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
Wisconsin: Plane crashes in back yard
Authorities say a small airplane has crashed in the back yard of a house in Marshfield late Saturday, killing the three people on board the aircraft. No one on the ground was injured. Marshfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Roy Dolens told WSAW-TV that it wasn’t immediately clear whether the pilot was trying to land at the Marshfield airport or if the plane had just taken off.
N. Korea: DMZ travel shutdown
State-run North Korean media say its military has informed the South it will follow through with a plan to ban all overland passage through the demilitarized zone starting Dec. 1. Today’s report says the border shutdown will mean a total suspension of tourism to the North Korean city of Kaesong. The Korean Central News Agency says the North Korean army will also “selectively expel” South Korean business managers now running factories in a joint industrial park in Kaesong and at the Diamond Mountain resort. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says new talks on North Korea’s nuclear program will begin Dec. 8 in China.
Congo: U.N. convoy stoned
Thousands of people displaced by fighting in eastern Congo stoned United Nations vehicles at a refugee camp on Sunday in anger at the organization’s failure to protect them. Soldiers who had stopped the U.N. peacekeepers’ convoy at an impromptu roadblock at the Kibati camp then dragged a group of men off the trucks, accusing them of being rebels. The refugees at Kibati are among 250,000 people driven from their homes by the latest round of a long-simmering rebellion that erupted in August in eastern Congo. Some refugees blame the U.N. for their plight, in failing to protect them from atrocities they say were committed by both rebels and government troops.
From Herald news services