An Army National Guard soldier was killed Thursday in a shooting at an Iowa church.
Spc. Eden M. Montag, who had been with the Iowa National Guard since August 2019, was one of two victims who died following the incident at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, according to a news release from the Iowa National Guard.
Montag, 22, was a mortuary affairs specialist with Detachment 1, Headquarters Support Company, 248th Aviation Support Battalion, in Boone, Iowa.
The shooter, Sgt. Johnathan L. Whitlatch, 33, was a member of the same Guard unit, according to the Story County Sheriff’s Office. Whitlatch, a human resources specialist, joined in September 2015. He was pronounced dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald.
Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, said in the release that the Guard is “devastated by this tragic news.”
“Our hearts are with all who are impacted, including the victims’ families, Ames, Iowa State and Cornerstone Church communities, friends, and fellow service members. While working to support those affected, we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the investigation continues.”
Fitzgerald said during a news conference that the Story County 911 Center began receiving calls at 6:51 p.m. on Thursday regarding a “person with a gun in the parking lot,” and by 6:52 p.m. deputies had been dispatched. Officers arrived four minutes later.
The shooting was isolated to the church parking lot and no other injuries were reported.
Fitzgerald said the shooting was the result of a domestic situation between Montag and Whitlatch, who had recently been charged and arrested in connection to harassment and impersonation of a public official. He immediately posted bond, the sheriff said.
Whitlatch was scheduled to appear in court on June 10.
Neither Whitlatch nor Montag were on active duty at the time.
Vivian Renee Flores, 22, also was killed in the shooting.Read comments