Iowa megachurch shooting leaves 2 dead in apparent double murder- suicide
A man fatally shot two women in the parking lot of an Iowa megachurch before he turned the gun on himself Thursday night, police said.
The man carried out the horrific violence at about 6:50 p.m. as a youth ministry service was taking place inside of the Cornerstone Church in Ames, Story County Sheriff Capt. Nicholas Lennie told reporters, according to the Des Moines Register.
The congregants remained inside the church during the shooting and no other injuries were reported, the paper reported.
No other details were immediately available on the apparent double-murder suicide.
“I wouldn’t say I’m shocked as law enforcement,” Lennie told reporters. “We prepare and we train hard for this, but when it happens, it’s obviously chaotic until you get it under control.”
Ames, the home of Iowa State University, is a city of about 66,000 people located about 30 miles north of the state capital in Des Moines.
According to the Cornerstone Church website, it was founded in 1994 from an ISU college ministry, The Salt Company, which is the name of its youth ministry today. Roughly 1,300 students attend services at Cornerstone every Thursday night during the school year.
“Tonight’s act of senseless violence took the lives of two innocent victims at their place of worship,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday night. “Kevin and I grieve for the families who have suffered an unfathomable loss.”