Man Who Killed 2 Outside Iowa Church Faced Harassment Case

Ames, Iowa — Investigators stated Friday {that a} man who shot two girls earlier than killing himself in an Iowa church car parking zone was romantically concerned with a girl and can face a court docket listening to subsequent week on fees of harassing her. confronted.

Jonathan Lee Whitlatch, 33, of Boone, pulled 22-year-old Eden Montang, 21-year-old Vivian Flores and one other girl right into a pickup truck simply earlier than 7 p.m. Thursday exterior Cornerstone Church on the outskirts of Ames and started capturing a 9 With the Mimi handgun, he stated.

Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald stated Montang and Flores had been killed, and Whitlach shot himself. The sheriff stated the ladies had been associates and college students at Iowa State College, strolling collectively to the church for a weekly service that’s standard amongst ISU and highschool college students.

Fitzgerald stated about 80 different college students had been contained in the megachurch on the time of the capturing. The church is positioned close to Interstate 35 about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Des Moines.

“Our hearts exit to all these concerned, and we’re praying for all these affected, particularly the households of the victims,” ​​the church stated within the assertion. The church additionally held a prayer assembly for the victims on Friday morning.

Whitlatch and Montang had not too long ago damaged up, Fitzgerald stated, and Whitlatch was arrested on Might 31 on fees of harassment and impersonation of a police officer.

Particulars of the costs in opposition to Whitelatch weren’t instantly obtainable, stated Storey County Captain Nicholas Lenny. Whitlatch was launched on bond the identical day he was arrested, Lenny stated, and was scheduled to look in court docket on June 10.

Fitzgerald stated a search of Whitlatch’s truck after the capturing discovered 9mm ammunition and a receipt from a West Des Moines retailer displaying he had bought the ammunition an hour earlier than the capturing. Fitzgerald stated investigators consider he supposed to kill Montang.

“He was there for a selected function, which he served,” stated the sheriff.

A search warrant executed at Whitlatch’s house additionally turned out to be an AR-15 rifle, which was not used within the capturing.

The capturing follows a collection of mass shootings which have rocked the nation in latest weeks. These embody the capturing final week by an 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 college students and two lecturers at an elementary college in Uvalde, Texas, and an assault Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the place a gunman killed His surgeon and three others had been killed. A Tulsa medical workplace. On Might 14 in Buffalo, New York, a white man launched a racially motivated assault on a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood, killing 10 individuals, based on officers.

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