Ames church shooting victims, gunman identified by authorities

Correction: The name of alleged gunman Johnathan Lee Whitlatch was misspelled in an earlier version of this story. 

Authorities released more information about the deadly Ames church shooting during a news conference Friday morning at the Story County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada. 

Johnathan Lee Whitlatch, 33, of Boone allegedly shot and killed 22-year-old Eden Mariah Montang and 21-year-old Vivian Renee Flores in the church parking lot at about 6:50 p.m. Thursday before turning the gun on himself. 

Story Co. Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald called the shooting a targeted attack by Whitlatch — he and Montang had a relationship that recently ended. 

“I think he was there for a specific purpose, which he accomplished,” Fitzgerald said. 

Montang and Flores were students at Iowa State University who were at the church Thursday night for a worship service with The Salt Company, the church’s university ministry. 

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