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Ames Church shooting leaves 3 dead

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Friday morning, a crowd gathered at Cornerstone Chruch in Ames to pray for the women shot and killed the previous night.

A Boone man shot and killed two women outside of Cornerstone Church in Ames.

According to the Story County Sheriff's Office, Eden Montang, 22, and Vivian Flores, 21, were shot and killed by 33-year-old Johnathan Whitlatch, who later shot himself. The sheriff says Montang and Whitlatch had recently broken up. On Monday, Ames police charged him with harassment and impersonating a public official.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer hears from IPR's Katie Peikes about what law enforcement has released to the public about the investigation. We then hear about a no-questions-asked gun buy-back program at the Moline Police Department aiming to get firearms off the streets. Jason Clayworth of Axios Des Moines talks about a recent move to get mental health professionals to be dispatched in response to 911 calls.

Also this hour, Erin Murphy of The Gazette offers his read of June 7 primary races. IPR's Grant Gerlock discusses the first sentencing of an Iowan for participating in the January 6 Capitol riot. Lastly, new music from Tank and the Bangasand Misterwives.


  • Katie Peikes, covers agriculture for IPR
  • Michael Griffin, detective with the Moline Police Department
  • Jason Clayworth, reporter for Axios Des Moines
  • Erin Murphy, Des Moines bureau chief for The Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Grant Gerlock, covers central Iowa for IPR
  • Cece Mitchell, host of IPR’s Studio One
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.