AMES, Iowa — Two young women lost their lives Thursday night while heading to a summer Bible study program.

Authorities say Johnathan Lee Whitlatch, 33, shot and killed Eden Montang, 22, and Vivian Flores, 21, outside of Cornerstone Church.

Both women were students at Iowa State University. Montang was a senior in the College of Human Sciences and she graduated from Boone High School in 2018.

Flores was a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and she graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines in 2019.

Flores also attended Valley Church in West Des Moines. The pastor posted to the church’s Facebook page saying in part: “Vivian was a wonderful young woman of God and loved Jesus and her family and friends with great authenticity and faith… Please be in fervent prayer for Vivian’s mother, Reyna, and her twin sister, Valerie, who are a part of our Valley Church family.”

Montang’s family called Eden a daughter, sister, aunt, and dedicated Christian woman.

Eden’s dad, Terry Montang, talked about his daughter’s faith at a prayer service Friday morning. 

“What I want everyone to know is that she walked the walk. She died for her faith,” Montang said. “I’m proud to have been her father, and I don’t know what more there is to say that she’s with the Lord and she did her best to walk the walk.”

The Iowa Army National Guard said Montang joined the service in 2019, but was not in active duty status at the time of the shooting.