Woman murdered inside NJ church

Two others extremely critical
November 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A man shot and killed his estranged wife and injured two other people in a New Jersey church Sunday, according to police. Authorities say 27-year-old Joseph Pallipurath opened fire in the vestibule of the St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church in Passaic, fatally wounding 24-year-old Reshma James.

Pallipurath then fled in a Jeep, police said.

James was rushed to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson, where she was pronounced dead around 4 p.m.

James' 47-year-old cousin and a 23-year-old man are reportedly in extremely critical condition at St. Joseph's. All three were shot in the head, according to police.

Authorities say about 200 people were inside the church at the time of the shooting. Witnesses say Pallipurath escaped in a 1994 green Jeep with California license plate No. 5HJD200. He was reportedly carrying a silver handgun and is considered dangerous.

Police say the couple had a tumultuous and abusive relationship dating back to when they lived in India. They then moved to California, where authorities say James left him to live with a relative in New Jersey. There, she filed a restraining order against Pallipurath, who authorities say drove from Sacramento to New Jersey prior to the murder.


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