Ames shooter did not have ‘no contact order’ with victims

People in Ames are paying tribute to the 2 Iowa State University students who were killed in a shooting last week.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 1:03 PM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (KCCI) - A man police say killed two college students outside of a church in Iowa had been charged with harassment just days before, but, did not have a no contact order for either of the victims.

Jonathan Whitlatch, 33, did, however, have an active not contact order from an unrelated case.

The no contact order was filed last November in Black Hawk County. It involved assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Iowa County Attorney’s Association President Ed Bull said harassment cases may not lead to no contact orders.

“It’s not mandatory,” he said. “It’s at the judge’s discretion. And a lot depends on the facts and circumstances.”

But those would be sorted out at an initial appearance. For Whitlatch, that appearance was supposed to happen June 10th.

Until then, he was released and was not prevented from being around Eden Montang or Vivian Flores.

“Ultimately, it’s an issue for the legislature,” Bull said. “If they wanted to have the political will to increase the number of charges in which a no contact order is mandatory and would result in more people going to jail and spending the night in jail, I’m certain that’s something the Iowa County attorney’s association would be more than willing to partner with them in the next legislative session.”

It is pure speculation whether Whitlatch would have been issued a no contact order, or whether it would have made any difference in saving the lives of Montang and Flores.

“We know that no contact orders protect people when the offender is willing to obey the law,” Bull said. “And when you have circumstances where people are willing to commit homicide, I’m not certain a no contact order would do anything to prevent that victim or ensure a particular behavior by the defendant.”

The sheriff’s office is calling the shooting a “targeted act of violence.”

They say the shooter took his own life at the scene.

Copyright 2022 KCCI via CNN. All rights reserved.