‘Unbelievable’: Ames community in shock after gunman opened fire outside Cornerstone Church


The Ames community is in shock after a gunman opened fire outside Cornerstone Church. The shooting happened during Salt Company, a college ministry program at the church. It was the program’s first summer night in Cornerstone. Officials say three people died, including the suspected shooter. James Stratton and Rheya Spigner were at Ames and spoke to community members about the tragic shooting. KCCI spoke with Kacey Pierce, a student who went to Cornerstone for Thursday night’s program. He said he and his friends came to the church after the shooting. The group got out of their car and said they saw other people hiding behind their cars. They didn’t know what was going on. Pierce described a few men trying to take over protecting people, alerting people to move away from the scene. KCCI reporters say the community’s response is one of disbelief. That a shooting like this could happen in a church in Iowa. “To make this happen at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa. If you had told me this a while ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. It’s amazing, honestly,” Pierce said. Scott, a church member KCCI spoke to, was not an eyewitness but had prayed with a student who was at the scene. The student had told him that he had performed CPR on one of the shooting victims. “It’s just hard to understand,” Scott said. From what he said the shooter got out and he saw him get out of the car and shoot…and watched it happen and shot another girl as she drove away, then killed himself… It’s just hard to fathom,” Scott said. The Story County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and is expected to continue through Friday. They will provide a updated at 10:30 a.m. Friday Cornerstone Pastor Mark Vance released the following statement: “Tonight a tragic shooting took place involving two young members of our Cornerstone Church community. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide details at this time. We can say, however, that we are more than saddened by the events that have taken place. Our hearts break for everyone involved, and we pray for everyone affected. Our ministry staff are available to support all those affected. , and we will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities as they complete their full investigation. “We sincerely appreciate the responsiveness of the Story County Sheriff’s Department, Ames PD, and all law enforcement officials who handled this matter with exceptional professionalism and compassion. Please join us in praying for everyone affected and their families.” For anyone interested, we will be holding a prayer service tomorrow, June 3, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Cornerstone Church of Ames, 56829 US HWY 30, Ames, IA, 50010. All are invited. attend in person or join us online at cornerstonelife.com/live.” Governor Kim Reynolds issued the following statement via Facebook: “Tonight’s senseless act of violence claimed the lives of two innocent victims in their place of worship. Kevin and I mourn their families who have suffered an unfathomable loss. And as the investigation continues and we learn more, we ask the people of Iowa to pray for the victims and their families, the members of Cornerstone Church, and the entire Ames community. This is a developing story. KCCI is following the story and will provide updates as they become available.

The Ames community is in shock after a gunman opened fire outside Cornerstone Church.

The shooting happened during Salt Company, a college ministry program at the church. It was the program’s first summer night at Cornerstone.

Authorities say three people are dead, including the suspected shooter.

James Stratton and Rheya Spigner were at Ames and spoke to community members about the tragic shooting.

KCCI spoke with Kacey Pierce, a student who traveled to Cornerstone for Thursday night’s program. He said he and his friends came to the church after the shooting. The group got out of their car and said they saw other people hiding behind their cars. They didn’t know what was going on. Pierce described a few men trying to take charge of protecting people, alerting people to move away from the scene.

KCCI reporters say the community’s response is one of disbelief. That a shooting like this could happen in a church in Iowa.

“To make this happen at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa. If you had told me this a while ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. It’s amazing, honestly,” Pierce said.

Scott, a church member KCCI spoke to, was not an eyewitness but had prayed with a student who was at the scene. The student had told him that he had performed CPR on one of the victims.

“It’s just hard to understand,” Scott said.

“Very hard to understand what he just witnessed the actual shooting there, and tried to resuscitate the only girl. From what he said, the shooter got out and he saw him get out of the car and shoot…and watched this happen and shot another girl as she drove away and then killed herself…It’s just hard to understand,” said Scott.

The Story County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and is expected to continue through Friday. They will provide an update at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Cornerstone Pastor Mark Vance released the following statement:

“Tonight a tragic shooting occurred involving two young members of our Cornerstone Church community. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide details at this time. We can say, however, that we are beyond saddened by the events that have transpired. Our hearts break for everyone involved, and we pray for everyone affected. Our ministry staff are available to support everyone affected, and we will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities as they complete their full investigation.

“We sincerely appreciate the responsiveness of the Story County Sheriff’s Department, Ames PD, and all law enforcement officials who handled this matter with exceptional professionalism and compassion. Please join us in praying for all those affected and their families.

“For anyone interested, we will be holding a prayer service tomorrow, June 3, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Cornerstone Church of Ames, 56829 US HWY 30, Ames, IA, 50010. All are welcome to attend in person or join us online at cornerstonelife.com/live.”

Governor Kim Reynolds released the following statement via Facebook:

“Tonight’s senseless act of violence claimed the lives of two innocent victims at their place of worship. Kevin and I mourn their families who have suffered an unfathomable loss. And as the investigation continues and we learn Further, we ask the people of Iowa to pray for the victims and their families, the members of Cornerstone Church, and the entire Ames community.

This is a developing story. KCCI is following the story and will provide updates as they become available.

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