Deadly Attack Launched on Iowa Churchgoers: ‘We Are Grieving Deeply’

Three people are dead after a man killed two members of an Iowa church Thursday evening before apparently killing himself.

The incident took place in a parking lot outside the Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa.

As of Friday morning, police had not disclosed a motive for the shooting, or the identities of all involved, according to the Des Moines Register.

Police said they were still investigating exactly what took place shortly before 7 p.m.

Story County Sheriff Capt. Nicholas Lennie said police believe the man shot two women and then died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The incident took place while a program was taking place inside the church. According to KCCI-TV, the program was aimed at college students.

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Lennie said there was no ongoing threat to the public.

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“This appears to be an isolated, single-shooter incident,” Lennie said, according to Reuters, adding that all three people were dead when police arrived

“I wouldn’t say I’m shocked as law enforcement,” Lennie said. “We prepare and we train hard for this, but when it happens, it’s obviously chaotic until you get it under control.”

“I would also like to take a moment to just extend our condolences to those involved, the victims involved, the families, the witnesses that were here at the church,” Lennie said. “And our hearts are with them as well at this time.”

The church released a statement that quoted Psalm 34:18, “‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted’. Right now, we are brokenhearted and we need God to draw near to us.”

“We are grieving deeply,” said a statement from Mark Vance, with the church’s Salt Company youth ministry. “Tonight, a tragic shooting occurred involving two young members of our Cornerstone Church community. It is believed that an adult male shot these two victims and then took his own life.”

The church statement said it could not provide details.

“We can say, however, that we are more than saddened by the events that transpired. Our hearts break for all involved, and we are praying for everyone affected, especially the family of the victims. Our Ministry staff are available to support all those impacted, and we will continue to fully cooperate with authorities as they complete their full investigation,” the statement said.

“Tonight’s act of senseless violence took the lives of two innocent victims at their place of worship,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement.

“Kevin and I grieve for the families who have suffered an unfathomable loss,” she posted. “And while the investigation continues and we learn more, we ask that Iowans pray for the victims and their families, the members of Cornerstone Church, and the entire Ames community.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.