Jonathan Whitlatch had court date for harassing Eden Montang

Jonathan Whitlatch had court date for harassing Eden Montang

A man who gunned down two women outside an Iowa megachurch had recently broken up with one of the victims — and was set to face court next week for harassing her, authorities said Friday.

Jonathan Whitlatch pulled up in a pickup truck and shot dead his ex-girlfriend Eden Montang, 22, and her friend Vivian Flores, 21, as they were arriving for a youth ministry service at the Cornerstone Church in Ames Thursday night.

The 33-year-old then fatally shot himself with his 9 mm handgun, Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald said.

The double murder-suicide came just days after Whitlatch arrested on May 31 for harassing Montang and for impersonating a police officer.

Details about the allegations against Whitlatch in that case weren’t immediately available, according to authorities.

Whitlatch had been released on bond the same day he was arrested and was scheduled to face court on June 10, authorities said.

Cornerstone Church shooting
Iowa church shooter Jonathan Whitlatch fatally shot his ex-girlfriend Eden Montang and her friend Vivian Flores at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa.

The sheriff said a search of Whitlatch’s truck after Thursday’s shooting found a receipt from a West Des Moines store that showed he bought the ammunition an hour before the shooting.

Investigators believe Whitlatch’s intent was to kill Montang, the sheriff added.

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

Iowa church shooting
Jonathan Whitlatch was due in court over charges he harassed his ex-girlfriend Eden Montang.

Investigators also found an AR-15 rifle, which wasn’t used in the shooting, when they executed a search warrant on Whitlatch’s home.

The two victims, Montang and Flores, were friends and students at Iowa State University, the sheriff said.

About 80 other students — from ISU and nearby high schools — were inside the megachurch at the time of the shooting, he added.

“Our hearts break for all involved, and we are praying for everyone affected, especially the family of the victims,” the church said in the statement.

Story Country Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald
Story Country Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald said that Whitlatch came to the church with the intent to kill his ex-girlfriend Eden Montang.

The church held a prayer service for the two victims Friday morning.

The fatal shooting came as President Joe Biden delivered a rare, prime time address on the spate of gun violence incidents across the country in recent weeks, including last week’s mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school that left 21 dead.

With Post wires

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