Two adults and a child were fatally shot at an Iowa campground on Friday, and the man suspected in their deaths was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Criminal Investigation Department (DCI) were “notified of a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground” at 6:23 a.m. according to a DCI statement.
“Officials later determined that a camper was missing,” 23-year-old Anthony Orlando Sherwin told the state agency.
“Sherwin appears to have sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound and there is no danger to the public.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Sherwin, a Nebraska resident, knew or was related to the victims, said Mike Krapfl, the special agent in charge of the Iowa DCI.
“We had information that he was armed at the time,” Krapfl told reporters when police first searched for him.
“He was (found) near the campsite, not far away.”
The victims were later identified Friday as Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, also 42, and Lulu Schmidt, 6, all of Cedar Falls.
Sherwin was identified as a suspect in a statement. Autopsy results for all four were pending.
Maquoketa Caves State Park is located in far east Iowa, about halfway between Des Moines and Chicago. It remained closed until mid-afternoon Friday afternoon as investigators continued to gather evidence.
“I am appalled by the shooting this morning at Maquoketa Caves State Park and devastated by the loss of three innocent lives,” he said. Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statementin its own name and First Gentleman Kevin Reynolds.
“As we mourn this unimaginable tragedy, Kevin and I pray for the victims’ families and law enforcement officials who responded to the scene.”
supervise employees 90 children with Camp Shalmon were about a mile from the incident and went into active shooter mode Friday morning, said executive assistant Beth Sallak.
The campers, completing a Sunday through Friday stay, were evacuated to nearby Little Bear Park and have been largely kept in the dark about the reason for the evacuation, Sallak added.
“They had no idea why,” Sallak told NBC News. “We stopped them. We just wanted to keep her calm and happy.”
Bryan Gallion and Phil Helsel contributed.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/3-people-found-dead-iowa-state-park-campground-suspected-killer-also-d-rcna39602 Two adults and a child fatally shot at Iowa State Park campground; Suspect also dead