Parents, 6-year-old girl killed in Iowa campground shooting: Officials – Connect FM | Local news radio
(JACKSON COUNTY, Iowa) — Two parents and their 6-year-old daughter were fatally shot Friday in an Iowa state park, while their 9-year-old son survived the attack, officials said. responsible.
The suspected shooter was also found in the park dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
Investigators are still working to determine the relationship between the victims and the suspect in the triple homicide, which occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m. Friday at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Jackson County.
Responders found the bodies of the three victims in their campsite. As they surveyed and evacuated the area, officers learned there was a registered camper at the park who was missing, authorities said.
“They noted that there was a missing camper who they believe may have been armed,” Iowa Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent Mike Krapfl told the affiliate. ABC WQAD in Moline, Illinois. “They searched the area for this individual, and then later, around 11 a.m., we found a deceased individual inside the park.”
DCI identified the suspect as Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23.
There are believed to be no ongoing risks to the public and Maquoketa Caves State Park is closed until further notice, authorities said.
DCI identified the victims Friday night as Tyler Schmidt and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, and Lula Schmidt, 6. The family was from Cedar Falls.
Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green said he was “devastated” after hearing the news.
“I knew Sarah well, and she and her family were regular walkers here in the Sartori Park area,” he said in a statement on Facebook.
Green said the family’s 9-year-old son, Arlo, survived the attack “and is safe.” No other details were provided.
Sarah Schmidt was an employee of the Cedar Falls Public Library, Green said. The library closed on Saturday following the tragedy to allow his colleagues to grieve, he said.
Green said more details would be forthcoming on planned services and other memorials for the family.
“Please extend additional grace to the Schmidts’ many friends, neighbors and colleagues as we try to process this horrific tragedy,” he said.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said on Twitter that she was “horrified” by the shooting and “devastated by the loss of three innocent lives.”
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which administers state parks, said its staff are working with law enforcement on the investigation.
“Our long tradition of enjoying Iowa’s natural wonders was shaken today, but the legacy of the millions of families who recreate in Iowa’s state parks will continue,” said Kayla Lyon, director from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, in a statement Friday. “This heartbreaking incident affects the DNR family; not just as people who are passionate about getting people out, but as people who regularly camp with our families in those same parks.
The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct autopsies on all three victims and the findings will be released, DCI said. The state medical examiner will perform an autopsy on the suspect.
No further information about the incident will be released at this time as part of the investigation, DCI said.
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