Iowa DCI names the victims killed at Maquoketa Caves State Park. Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, and Lulu Schmidt, 6, all of Cedar Falls were found shot at a campsite. Anthony Sherwin, 23, of Nebraska is the suspected killer – dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Maquoketa community is in shock after a shooting at Maquoketa Caves State Park today left four dead.
Authorities suspect a man shot at three people before taking his own life and say they are investigating a three-person murder. The names of the three victims have not been released, but they are all related, according to Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Mitch Mortwit.
Authorities identified the suspect as 23-year-old Nebraska native Anthony O. Sherwin. “The investigation is ongoing,” said Mike Clover, the special agent in charge of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation. “It has many moving parts … more information may be available in the coming days.”
According to Krapfl, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department responded to the park at 6:23 a.m. this morning after receiving a report of a shooting at the campground. Sheriff’s department officials referred the issue to the state agency. Authorities found three people shot dead in a tent at the camp, Mottwitt said.
Officials immediately evacuated everyone from parks, on-site children’s summer camps and campgrounds. Sherwin was the only unregistered camper after the evacuation was complete, Mortvedt said. “He’s known to have weapons,” Mottwitt said. “Of course, it also raises our awareness.”
Authorities established a boundary at the campground west of the park’s wooded area around 11 a.m., searched the park and found Sherwin dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Sherwin is from Nebraska and investigators do not believe he had any previous relationship with the victim, Mortwitt said. Authorities believe Sherwin was at a different campground from his family, Krapfl said.
Mortvedt said he could not say whether Sherwin had a criminal record. A search of online court records in Nebraska and Iowa revealed no criminal records. Mortvedt said an autopsy should be performed on Sherwin and the victim over the weekend, and more information may be released based on those results.
As the situation developed, several law enforcement agencies responded to the park. Resources include Iowa State Patrol aircraft. Emergency communications scanner traffic noted K-9 units responding from surrounding agencies.
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