Johnathan Lee Whitlatch Bio – Johnathan Lee Whitlatch Wiki
Johnathan Lee Whitlatch arrived at Cornerstone Church—where the two slain Iowa State University students and a third friend were about to head into Bible study—with the intent to kill, authorities said.
Johnathan Lee Whitlatch is 33 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
An Iowa man opened fire outside a megachurch, killing two Iowa State University students before turning the gun on himself, authorities say.
Johnathan Lee Whitlatch, 33, shot and killed 22-year-old Eden Mariah Montana and 21-year-old Vivian Renee Flores in the parking lot of Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa. After shooting the women, Whitlatch killed himself.
On Thursday evening, Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald told reporters that the shooting was a targeted attack. Whitlatch and Montana had recently ended their relationship, and he had recently been arrested for third-degree harassment and impersonating a public official in an incident “directly related to the breakup.”
“I think he was there for a specific purpose, which he accomplished,” Fitzgerald said, according to the Des Moines Register.
The women were both students at Iowa State University. According to a statement from the school president, Montana was a senior in the College of Human Sciences, while Flores was a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
According to the Des Moines Register, the women were at the church on Thursday night for a Bible study service with The Salt Company, the church’s college ministry. They were with another woman who was uninjured.
“This was a situation that could have unfolded much more tragically had this just been a random act of violence,” Sheriff Fitzgerald told reporters, according to KCCI-TV. “There were over 80 students in the auditorium at Bible study, and if he had found his way inside the church with that intent it would’ve been much more tragic than what we have today.”
Police are continuing to investigate the shooting.