A man has shot and killed two women in the parking lot of a church in Iowa and then turned the gun on himself, police said, adding three more dead to the national toll from a series of recent shootings that have rocked the United States.
The Iowa shooting took place on Thursday shortly after president Joe Biden delivered a major address on gun violence in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, in recent weeks.
Meanwhile another shooting on Thursday wounded two people attending a burial at a cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin.
The Iowa shooting took place outside Cornerstone Church, a fundamentalist Christian church east of the city of Ames about 37 miles (60km) north of Des Moines, while a church program was on inside, said Nicholas Lennie, chief deputy of the Story county sheriff’s office.
When deputies arrived on the scene they found all three dead, Lennie said, adding that he could not provide identities nor disclose what the relationship between them may have been.
“This appears to be an isolated, single-shooter incident,” Lennie said.
Moments before, Biden urged Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks and implement other gun control measures to address the mass shootings.
The United States has been shaken in recent weeks by the mass shootings that killed 10 Black residents in upstate New York, 19 children and two teachers in Texas, and two doctors, a receptionist and a patient in Oklahoma.
In Racine, Wisconsin, multiple gunshots were fired into a crowd of mourners attending a graveside funeral on Thursday, wounding two people, Racine police Sgt Kristi Wilcox told reporters.
One victim was treated at a local hospital and discharged, the other was flown to a Milwaukee hospital, apparently suffering more serious injuries, Wilcox said. No suspect was taken into custody.