Officials in Iowa Say That Camping was a ‘Random Act Of Violence’ that Left a Family of Iowans Dead

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After a gunman killed a father, mother and 6-year-old daughter on a family camping trip, it turned into an unimaginable tragedy.

Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, along with their two kids Lula and Arlo were vacationing at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa when authorities say an intruder entered their tent and shot the parents and the little girl to death. 

Arlo, 9, survived and ran to another camper for help.

Authorities shut down the camp after hearing about the shooting. They did a roll-call and discovered that someone was missing. This suspect turned out to have been the victim.

Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23, was found dead in his home.
A self-inflicted gunshot injury.

“[It was] a random act of violence,”Mitch Mortvedt is the assistant director of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. “There was no correlation or no relationship between Anthony Sherwin and the Schmidt family that we’ve come across.”

The slain family is from Cedar Rapids. Sarah Schmidt worked at the local library. Her brother, Adam Morehouse, says their family is still in disbelief over the slayings.

“From the initial time of notification until even now and moving forward, I’m still sure that most of us are in the several levels of shock phase of disbelief. Those waves come and go as with every human, between disbelief and sadness, followed by anger, followed by more disbelief,” Morehouse said.

He is calling for people to rally around the young survivor.

“He is a strong little boy, but it’s important to know that he has a lot of struggles that he’s going to have to overcome forever now. That’s why we just want to focus on our grief, but we really are trying to focus on the love and support for him,” Morehouse said.

A GoFundMeThe foundation has been established to support the little boy.

The mother of the suspect gave a statement. “We refuse to believe the news. We are deeply saddened as he had so much to live for and gave us no indication that anything was wrong.”

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