Officials: Man fatally shot 2 women, self in central Iowa church parking lot

Posted at 9:22 AM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 10:22:30-04

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities planned to release more details Friday about a shooting outside an Iowa church in which a man fatally shot two women before apparently killing himself.

The shooting happened just before 7 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of the Cornerstone Church, a megachurch on the outskirts of Ames. Sheriff's Capt. Nicholas Lennie declined early Friday to give the ages and names of those killed, but confirmed that they were adults.

The shooter appeared to have shot himself after shooting the women, but details would not be released until a planned news conference outside the church, Lennie said. The church is located near Interstate 35, about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

Cornerstone Church released a statement confirming that the women killed were "young members of our community," but did not give other details about the victims or shooter, citing the ongoing police investigation.

"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. The church also planned to hold a prayer service for the victims Friday.

The shooting follows mass shootings across the nation in recent weeks that have roiled the country. Those include last week's shooting by an 18-year-old gunman, who killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and an attack Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a gunman killed his surgeon and three other people at a Tulsa medical office. On May 14 in Buffalo, New York, a white man carried out what officials say was a racially-motivated attack on a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood, killing 10 people.

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