Gunman shoots dead two women outside church before turning weapon on himself

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A gunman has shot dead two women outside a church, before then turning the gun on himself and taking his own life in the US.

The tragic incident took place outside Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa, just before 7pm local time on Thursday (June 2).

The shooting occurred just before an event – called Summer Salt and hosted by The Salt Company – for college-aged students was about to begin.

A motive for the shooting is not yet known, but the authorities have stated that there is no ongoing threat to the public.

It is still unclear as to how many others were injured in the attack.

Story County Sherriff's Office Captain Nick Lennie, speaking to local outlet KCCI, said: "There was a program going on."

"We do have other individuals inside the church. We do not have any other information at this point if anybody else was injured in this.

"We are working through the process of investigating this incident and speaking with the others inside the church."

The church released a statement on its Facebook page, calling the event a "tragic shooting" and saying they are "heartbroken."

It wrote: "It is believed that an adult male shot these two victims and then took his own life. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are not able to give any details at this time.

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"We can say, however, that we are more than saddened by the events that transpired. Our hearts break for all involved, and we are praying for everyone affected, especially the family of the victims.

"Our Ministry staff are available to support all those impacted, and we will continue to fully cooperate with authorities as they complete their full investigation."

The church thanked first responders, including the Story County Sheriff's Department and Ames Police Department "who have handled this matter with exceptional professionalism and compassion."

This is the latest in a series of mass shootings in the US, including the 21 who lost their lives at a school in Uvalde, Texas, last week and the four who were killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earlier this week.

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