CLIFTON, N.J. - A gunman entered a northern New Jersey church during Sunday services and shot three people in the vestibule, killing his estranged wife and injuring the other two before fleeing, authorities said.

Police were searching for 27-year-old Joseph M. Pallipurath of Sacramento, Calif., after the shooting at St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church in Clifton.

Detective Capt. Robert Rowan told The Star-Ledger of Newark that the victim, 24-year-old Reshma James, had recently moved from California to escape an abusive marriage and had filed a restraining order against Pallipurath.

About 200 people were attending services in the sanctuary of the church, whose members are mostly first-generation Indian immigrants and their children.

All three victims were shot in the head, Rowan said. The other two victims, a 47-year-old woman and 23-year-old man, were in critical condition, he told the newspaper.

A spokeswoman for St. Joseph's Medical in Paterson, where the victims were being treated, declined to comment on their conditions.

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