A shooting took place at Iowa church in which the suspect Jonathan Lee Whitlatch killed two women and then shot himself in the parking lot. One of the two dead ladies was his girlfriend, Eden Montang. He was due to a court hearing next week on harassment charges, authorities told The Reporter Times’ correspondent.
Who Is Iowa Ames Church Shooter Jonathan Lee Whitlatch?
33-year-old Jonathan Whitlatch was a resident of Boone. The shooting incident took place just before 7 pm on Thursday in which he murdered his girlfriend Eden Montang (22), Vivian Flores (21), and shot one more lady. He used a pickup truck for the purpose, and used a 9 mm handgun. It happened outside Cornerstone Church on the outskirts of Ames.
Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald told TRT that Montang and Flores died in the Iowa shooting incident while Jonathan Whitlatch shot himself. Flores and Montang were friends and students at Iowa State University. At the time, they were headed toward the church. The weekly church service is popular among university and high school students.
Ames Iowa Church Shooter Motive
Jonathan Lee Whitlatch and Montang were previously in a relationship and had recently broken up. Investigators said that he wanted to kill her. It appeared to be a targeted attack on her.
Fitzgerald said that there were around 80 other people inside the church at the time. The church is about 48 kilometers north of Des Moines and near Interstate 35. The church released a statement and offered condolences to the families of the victims and everyone affected.
Related: Who is Eden Montang?
Per police records, Johnathan Lee Whitlatch was arrested on May 31, 2022, on counts of harassment and mimicking to be a police officer. Also, it was made clear that he had a long history with law enforcement involving women.
Criminal complaints were made against Johnathan Whitlatch by an Ames business. Whitlatch, who tried to mimic himself as a police officer, made many phone calls and reported Montang to the business for being involved in an alleged inappropriate relationship with someone else. Because of the automatic recording feature, the phone at the business recorded the calls.
Jonathan Lee Whitlatch’s Relationship With His Girlfriend – Cause Of Shooting
Authorities tracked Whitlatch’s truck and found ammunition and a receipt in it. As per the receipt, he had purchased the ammunition just an hour before he executed the attack. Police processed the search warrant and searched his home and discovered an AR-15 style rifle, it was not used in the shooting though.
In November 2021, Jonathan Lee Whitlatch was arrested as per the court records. It was on a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. As a result, he had been set to go on trial in July 2022. He was arrested for public indecency in Cedar Falls after being caught on video fondling a woman’s genitals twice inside a bar.
In 2017, in response to a complaint by a southeastern Iowa woman against Jonathan Whitlatch, a judge had issued a temporary restraining order. But it was lifted a month later.
The court records show that he got divorced from another woman in 2014. In May 2022, a court ordered the state to give Whitlatch’s wages to a woman who was his kid’s mother in another case, as he was the child’s father.