CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Family and friends are leaning on eachother to support a nine-year-old Iowa boy who survived a deadly shooting that killed both of his parents and younger sister on Friday at Maquoketa State Park.
Three campers were killed and another camper took his own life at Maquoketa State Park in eastern Iowa, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation reports. The names of the victims have been confirmed as Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, 42, and Lula Schmidt, 6, all from Cedar Falls.
According to a news release, authorities were called to the park in Jackson County on a report of a triple homicide at 6:23 a.m. Friday. Authorities immediately began searching for another unaccounted for camper 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin. His body was located a short time later, dead from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities have not confirmed how the other three campers were killed or Sherwin’s relationship to them.
A youth camping group was evacuated from a nearby campground in the park that morning after the triple homicide was reported. Camp Shalom, Inc. says in a social media post that no children or staff were harmed and everyone made it safely out of the park.
The park is closed and is considered an active crime scene, the DCI says.
A GoFundMe account has been set up by family members of Sarah and Tyler Schmidt. The account has been confirmed as valid to WHO 13 News by the Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green.
On Friday Mayor Green took to social media to offer his sympathy to the community.
This morning, while camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park, our neighbor and Cedar Falls Public Library employee Sarah Schmidt, along with her husband Tyler and daughter Lulu (age 6) lost their lives to a 23-year-old gunman who then took his own life. Like many of you just hearing the news, I’m devastated. I knew Sarah well, and she & her family were regular walkers here in the Sartori Park neighborhood. I was working with her this week on a public library tech presentation for 7/26. Their 9-year-old son Arlo survived the attack and is safe. I’ve notified neighbors, and for those of you just learning about this through this post, I am so sorry. Details will be forthcoming about services and other memorials, and I will ensure the community knows about this. Please offer some extra grace to the Schmists’ many friends, neighbors, and coworkers as we try to process this horrible tragedy. The Cedar Falls Library will be closed tomorrow for the sake of the staff who loved and worked with Sarah.Mayor Green