An early morning shooting Friday at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground in eastern Iowa killed three family members: Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, 42, and Lola Schmidt, 6, of Cedar Falls.
Law enforcement said the presumed shooter, Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23, was found dead not far from the Schmidts tent. He apparently died of his gunshot wounds.
A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division said law enforcement does not plan to release new information on Sunday. Law enforcement officials said they expect officials to conduct autopsies on both the Schmidt and Chiron families over the weekend.
Here’s what we know about what happened.
What happened in the Iowa state park where the Schmidt family died?
Law enforcement was called to the park at 6:23 a.m. Friday. They found three members of the Schmidt family dead inside a tent.
Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, said that while law enforcement was scouring the area and evacuating the park for investigation, they learned that one person registered with the park, Sherwin, was unknown.
Using an aircraft to search the area, authorities found Sherwin’s body “some distance from the camp site but still in the park,” Mortvedt said.
more:Update from Friday: 4 dead in ‘horrific and inconsequential’ shooting at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa, including alleged gunman
Who are the three shooting victims?
The three victims are Tyler, Sarah Schmidt and their daughter, Lola.
The couple’s 9-year-old son, Arlo Schmidt, survived the shooting. a GoFundMe The page set up to help him had raised more than $135,000 by Sunday noon. It was a separate meal train to help Sarah Schmidt’s family as they gather to mourn Nearly 90 participants It raised more than $2,000 by Sunday afternoon.
“They were an amazing family, filling each other’s dreams, none of them had any question about being loved, they all knew it. Arlo would probably be the smartest kid in his class, if not in school, and I pray he can From overcoming this because he is truly destined for great things,” family friend Kate Flather told the record.
Tyler Schmidt was a software engineer and Sarah Schmidt worked at the Cedar Falls Library. The library closed its doors on Saturday as people put up memorial signs for the family.
“Cedar Falls Public Library will accept cards, souvenirs, drawings, etc. in memory of the Schmidt family, as Sarah was a beloved librarian. This is a normal part of the grieving process, and we want to make sure all items are protected from the elements. For this reason, the library requires that items be brought in within hours Regular work of the library is placed in the front lobby,” Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Greene, who coordinates the official response to the city and family, said on Facebook Saturday afternoon.
That night he posted an update: “It’s hard not to cry now. I hope everyone sleeps a good night. We need it.”
more:‘I can’t believe this is happening’: Family and friends mourn Schmidt, killed at Maquoketa Caves State Park
Who is Anthony Orlando Sherwin, the suspected shooter?
Law enforcement officials said Sherwin was supposed to be the one who shot and killed the three victims. Nebraska authorities and a search of records show that Sherwin is from La Vista, Nebraska.
Neither the Des Moines record nor an Associated Press search of public records revealed any criminal record that Sherwin may have had. La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten said he lived in an apartment complex with his parents. Lawston also said that Sherwin has no history of criminal behavior.
Sherwin’s parents, Joseph and Cecilia Sherwin, told Des Moines Record that they were camping with their son in the park on Friday. They question the law enforcement’s version of events.
“Why would he throw everything away when he was looking forward to coming home? It doesn’t make sense,” Cecilia Sherwin said in an email.
How long will Maquoketa Caves State Park be closed?
State officials said the park will be closed at least through Thursday, June 28, and reservations will be refunded.
“Our longstanding tradition of enjoying Iowa’s natural wonders has been shaken today, but the legacy of the millions of families recreated in Iowa state parks will live on,” Kayla Lyon, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said Friday.
Where is Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa?
The state park is located in eastern Iowa, about 10 miles northwest of Maquoketa in Jackson County.
It has long been considered one of the gems of Iowa for its accessibility and its caves. Since 2004, Friends of the Maquoketa Caves State Park has worked to maintain and improve the park.
more:The Maquoketa Caves State Park wagon heard a loud scream and noise near the triple murder site
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