Spc. Eden M. Montang, who joined the Iowa Army National Guard in August 2019, was one of the two victims killed in the deadly shooting at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, on June 2, according to a news relase from the Iowa Army National Guard.
Montang served as a mortuary affairs specialist with Detachment 1, Headquarters Support Company, 248th Aviation Support Battalion in Boone, Iowa.
The Story County Sheriff identified the shooter as Sgt. Johnathan (whose name also appears as “Jonathan” in some information) L. Whitlatch, also as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard. Whitlatch joined the Iowa Army National Guard in September 2015 and served as a human resources specialist with Detachment 1, Headquarters Support Company, 248th Aviation Support Battalion in Boone, Iowa. Prior to that, he was an infantryman with the 168th Infantry in Corning, Johnston and Shenandoah, Iowa, the release says.
Neither soldier was in an active duty status at the time of the shooting. The Iowa National Guard will provide casualty assistance to the family members of both soldiers, the release says.
“We are devastated by this tragic news,” said Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, “Our hearts are with all who are impacted, including the victims’ families, Ames, Iowa State and Cornerstone Church communities, friends, and fellow service members. While working to support those affected, we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the investigation continues.”
“The Iowa National Guard is committed to the safety and well-being of our service members and our local communities,” the release says. “Our chaplains, Soldier Family Readiness professionals and behavioral health professionals have been engaged to assist service members and families processing this tragic news.”