Iowa church shooting: Shocking gunfire leaves three dead, including gunman

Suspected gunman shot two women outside the church (Image via Maps)
Suspected gunman shot two women outside the church (Image via Maps)

A church shooting in Iowa saw the deaths of three people, including a gunman. Of the victims, two were females, with one male who has been identified as the shooter. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Thursday and became yet another statistic in the number of gun-related attacks that have pushed the country on edge.

The Iowa church attack took place moments after President Joe Biden delivered a message on gun violence in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a matter of a few weeks.

Speaking about the recent shooting, Story County Sheriff Capt. Nicholas Lennie assured people there was no further threat as the suspected gunman was one of the people who died.

He said:

"This appears to be an isolated, single-shooter incident."

The Sheriff's office told KCCI-TV that they had received a lot of calls at 6:51 p.m. around the time the shooting occurred.

Iowa shooting victims join the long list of gun-related deaths in America

Just outside the Cornerstone Church, east of the city of Ames, about 37 miles (60km) north of Des Moines, a gunman shot two women while a church program was underway inside, said Story County Sheriff Capt. Nicholas Lennie. He also stated that investigators did not know the ages of those killed.

When officials reached the scene of the crime, they found all three individuals dead. Even though the shooter shot himself, his death is still being investigated, Lennie said.

Reacting to the attack, one of the eyewitnesses stated it was rather difficult to comprehend what had happened.

Meanwhile, the Iowa church pastor, Mark Vance, in a statement, expressed his anguish over the death of the victims. Vance also said that the ones who died had been members of the church.

"We are more than saddened by the events that transpired. Our hearts break for all involved, and we are praying for everyone affected."

Earlier that day, President Biden pressed the ban on assault weapons, calling for thorough background checks and implementation of gun control measures to curb the alarming rise in incidents of mass shootings.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds also issued a statement regarding the church shooting, saying:

"Tonight's act of senseless violence took the lives of two innocent victims at their place of worship. Kevin and I grieve for their families who have suffered an unfathomable loss. 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."

After 10 Black residents were killed in New York and 21 people, including 19 children in Uvalde, the entire United States has been appalled by the spike in gun violence. From gang-related shootouts to white supremacist attacks, there seems to be no end to the rise in violence in the country.

Plus, before the Iowa church shooting, at around 2.30 p.m., two people were shot during a service at a southeast Wisconsin cemetery as people came to pay their final respects and extend their condolences for the death of a 37-year-old man.

The attack took place in Racine at Graceland Cemetery. While one victim was treated at a local hospital and discharged, the other was flown to a Milwaukee medical facility, apparently suffering more grievous injuries. No arrests have been made on this matter, officials said.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh