Iowa gunman kills two women, himself outside megachurch

Two women were shot and killed in the parking lot of the Cornerstone Church in what Governor Kim Reynolds described as an "act of senseless violence."

Joshua Young North Carolina

Two women were shot and killed in the parking lot of the Cornerstone Church in Ames Iowa last week in what Governor Kim Reynolds described as an "act of senseless violence."

According to local news, Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald identified the two women as 22-year-old Eden Moriah Montang and 21-year-old Vivian Renee Flores. The gunman was 33-year-old Johnathan Lee Whitlatch.

The shooting occurred a little before 7 pm on Thursday June 2nd as the two women were walking to a Bible study and college ministry program in the church's auditorium.

Sheriff Fitzgerald described the shooting as an incident of domestic violence as Whitlatch and Montang had been in a previous relationship. The relationship ended with Montang receiving an order of protection.

Whitlatch had harassed Montang a week prior to the shooting and was arrested for Harassment and Impersonating a Public Official. He was set to appear in court for the incident only a few days after he used a 9mm handgun to shoot and kill Montang and Flores.

A third woman was walking with the pair but wasn't struck

On its website Cornerstone describes itself as a "multigenerational church with a passion to reach the next generation of college students with the Gospel." The Church was founded in 1994 by an Iowa State University ministry. About 30 miles north of Des Moines, Ames is a small college town with a population of 66,000.

Both Montang and Flores were students at ISU studying Human Development and Animal Science respectively. The two were attending Cornerstone's college ministry program that night, Salt Company.

Lead Pastor Mark Vance said in a statement, "we are more than saddened by the events that transpired. Our hearts break for all involved, and we are praying for everyone affected, especially the family of the victims."


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