While the United States is recovering from a series of mass shootings stretching from New York to Texas to Oklahoma, the gun violence continued Thursday in the Midwest with separate shootings at a church parking lot and a funeral that left more Americans dead or wounded, and a New Jersey community is agog over a close call.
A man shot and killed two women before killing himself outside of Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, while two women were shot at Graceland Cemetery during the burial of Da’Shontay “Day Day” King, who was shot and killed Friday, May 20, by a police officer in Racine, Wis.
A 32-year-old Asbury Park man was arrested after his mother told police he planned a mass shooting at a school like the one that happened in Texas.
Asbury Park police said William Bailey was found in the city’s municipal parking lot at about 9:40 a.m., about 20 minutes after they were tipped off about the threat and began looking for him.
Bailey who had a warrant for his arrest in Plainfield, was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated. He was charged with making terroristic threats.
“We were notified of an individual having a possible mental health crisis at the time from Plainfield to the Asbury Park Police Department, which initiated a modified lockdown in all of our schools,” said Dr. Rashawn M. Adams, the school superintendent.
“There’s terror these days just dropping your kids off. It doesn’t feel normal to me or to any parent to drop your kid off and hope they don’t get shot,” said Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, the mother of a 6-year-old in the district. “That’s insanity.”
The Story County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday reporting that Jonathan Lee Whitlatch, 33, had shot two women from the congregation — 22-year-old Eden Mariah Montang and 21-year-old Vivian Renee Flores — while a program was going on inside Cornerstone Church in Ames.
When police arrived, the gunman appeared to have died of a self-inflicted wound, according to Story County Sheriff Capt. Nicholas Lennie.
One of the women killed was Whitlatch’s girlfriend, and both Montang and Flores were students at Iowa State University, the sheriff’s office said Friday. Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald told reporters that the shooting stemmed from a “domestic situation” between one of the women and the gunman, who lived in Boone, Iowa.
Just before 2:30 p.m., multiple shots were fired at the Graceland Cemetery, in Racine, Wisconsin.
“We were at the gravesite trying to get prepared to bury him, and bullets started flying everywhere,” said Natasha Mullen, the sister of the man fatally shot by Racine police May 20.
A 35-year-old woman was flown to Froedtert Hospital where she had surgery for her injuries. Police said Friday morning she was awake and alert. A 19-year-old woman was treated at a Racine hospital and released.
Police said they were carrying out a search warrant at approximately 1:01 p.m., during a traffic stop on a vehicle that was the subject of a search warrant for a felon in possession of a firearm, about two weeks ago when King, who they said was armed, ran from the car.
Officer Zachary B. Brenner, with 4 years in law enforcement, fatally shot King during a foot chase.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is investigating the officer-involved shooting said a firearm was recovered at the scene and body camera footage captured the incident.
New Jersey was think in the action, with numerous gun violence incidents reported in recent days.
Police officers responded to reports of gunshots being fired on the 600 block of South 11th Street in Newark’s South Ward at around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.
They found a male victim suffering a bullet wound in his leg at that location. The victim was transported to University Hospital and he is expected to recover.
Paterson Police officers were dispatched to the area of Presidential Boulevard and Temple Street in Paterson on a report of shots fired at about 9:13 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.
They found a 28-year-old male Paterson resident who sustained multiple non-fatal gunshot wounds and was transported to Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center for treatment.
At 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, New Brunswick Police were called to an area hospital where a 20-year-old city man walked in with an apparent gunshot wound in his stomach.
The uncooperative man did not reveal much to police, whose investigation independently concluded that an altercation involving two other unidentified individuals occurred outside the victim’s residence on Jersey Avenue.