Parents, 6-Year-Old Girl, Murdered in Tent at Iowa State Park; Gunman Found Dead with Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

42-year-old Tyler Schmidt, his 42-year-old wife Sarah Schmidt and their 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt, were fatally shot inside of their tent at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground on Friday morning.

A 9-year-old boy who was camping with the family survived.

The gunman, 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin of Nebraska, was found dead in the woods nearby with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The motive for the murders is unknown and it is believed to be a “random act.”

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The Associated Press reported:

A 9-year-old boy who was camping at an Iowa state park with his parents and 6-year-old sister survived a shooting that killed the rest of his family.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety identified the victims as Tyler Schmidt, 42; his 42-year-old wife, Sarah Schmidt; and their 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt, all of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Their bodies were found in their tent early Friday at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Des Moines.

Authorities said the suspected gunman, 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin, was found dead Friday in a wooded area of the park with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety’s division of criminal investigation, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the motive for the attack was still unknown.

Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green, who said he is a neighbor of the Schmidts, posted on Facebook on Friday that the couple’s 9-year-old son, Arlo, “survived the attack, and is safe.” The post did not say whether Arlo was in the tent or even at the campsite when the shootings happened, and the mayor told the AP he didn’t have those details.

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