Police: 3 fatally shot at Iowa state park; gunman also dead

  • Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. The campground was evacuated in the wake of the shooting. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. The campground was evacuated in the wake of the shooting. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • An Iowa State Patrolman walks past a Maquoketa Caves State Park sign as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. The campground was evacuated in the wake of the shooting. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    An Iowa State Patrolman walks past a Maquoketa Caves State Park sign as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. The campground was evacuated in the wake of the shooting. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa. Iowa. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa. Iowa. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • In this photo provided by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Anthony Orlando Sherwin is shown. Three people were killed in a shooting at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground in eastern Iowa Friday, July 2, 2022 and the suspected gunman is also dead, police said.  Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation,  said officers searching the campground found the body of a Nebraska man who had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities identified him as 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin.(Iowa Department of Public Safety via AP)

    In this photo provided by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Anthony Orlando Sherwin is shown. Three people were killed in a shooting at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground in eastern Iowa Friday, July 2, 2022 and the suspected gunman is also dead, police said. Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said officers searching the campground found the body of a Nebraska man who had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities identified him as 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin.(Iowa Department of Public Safety via AP) Associated Press

  • Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • The entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park is blocked as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    The entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park is blocked as police investigate a shooting that left several people dead, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • An entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park is blocked as police investigate a deadly shooting on Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP)

    An entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park is blocked as police investigate a deadly shooting on Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Nikos Frazier/Quad City Times via AP) Associated Press

  • Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the park's campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. ( (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP)

    Emergency personnel block an entrance to the Maquoketa Caves State Park as police investigate a shooting, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the park's campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. ( (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP) Associated Press

  • Authorities enter a mobile command center at the entrance to Maquoketa Caves State Park, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the park's campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP)

    Authorities enter a mobile command center at the entrance to Maquoketa Caves State Park, Friday, July 22, 2022, in Maquoketa, Iowa. Police responded to reports of the shooting at the park's campground before 6:30 a.m., Mike Krapfl, special agent in charge of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Posted7/23/2022 7:00 AM

Three family members were shot to death while camping in a state park in eastern Iowa Friday, and the suspected gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Officers responded to reports of the shooting at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground before 6:30 a.m. Friday, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said in a statement. Officers found three people fatally shot in a tent at the campground, division assistant director Mitch Mortvedt said.

 

The three victims were related, Mortvedt said. Later Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Safety identified them as Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, 42, and Lulu Schmidt, 6, all of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Mortvedt didn't provide a motive for the killings.

Officials immediately evacuated everyone from the park, a children's summer camp on the grounds and the campground. Once the evacuation was complete, the only registered camper not accounted for was 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin, Mortvedt said.

'He was known to be armed. That of course heightened our awareness as well,' Mortvedt said. Iowa allows people with permits to carry firearms virtually anywhere in the state. Officials did not say if Sherwin had a permit.

Using a plane to help search the area, law enforcement later found Sherwin dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a wooded area of the park. Sherwin came from Nebraska, and investigators don't believe he had any prior relationship with the victims, Mortvedt said.

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Mortvedt said he could not say whether Sherwin had a criminal record. A search of online court records in Nebraska and Iowa did not produce any record of prior criminal behavior.

Autopsies on Sherwin and the victims were scheduled to be performed over the weekend, Mortvedt said, and more information would likely be released based on those findings.

The park, which remained closed Friday, is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Cedar Rapids.

___

Foley reported from Iowa City, Iowa. Beck reported from Omaha, Nebraska.

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