AMES, Iowa — Sitting shoulder to shoulder with hands clasped tight, friends and family gathered at Cornerstone Church Friday morning to pray, sing and grieve together.
The morning after a deadly shooting in the church's parking lot, hundreds of people gathered for a prayer service mourning the loss of two Iowa State University students who attended the college ministry, The Salt Company.
Those victims were identified as 21-year-old Vivian Renee Flores and 22-year-old Eden Mariah Montang by the Story County Sheriff's Office.
Terry Montang, Eden's father, spoke about how he wants his daughter to be remembered.
"I want everyone to know she walked the walk. She died for her faith. I’m proud to have been her father and I don’t know what more there is to say than she’s with the Lord," he said.
From church members to pastors and community members across Ames, everyone in attendance gathered to find the hope and consolation inside this tragedy.
"They're known, they're loved, they're treasured. And that's why there's tears and there's grief," said Mark Vance, the lead pastor at Cornerstone Church. "Because when something dear is lost, mourning is what we do to say that we love."
The vigil had minutes of silence interspersed throughout the service to allow audience members to comfort each other and look to prayer.
“I hope you didn’t come alone, but if you did, I hope there’s someone close enough to you that can touch you, hug you, say 'I love you,'” said Founding Pastor Troy Nesbitt.
Every speaker at the vigil emphasized that the victims were kind, faithful women who would want this tragedy to be handled with love and hope.
FULL VIDEO: Story County Sheriff's press conference (June 3, 2022)