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.
The authorities shut down the camp immediately after receiving reports of the shooting. After conducting a roll call, authorities discovered that there was a missing person, which turned out be the suspect.
Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23 years old, was found with a broken leg.
A self-inflicted gunshot injury.
“[It was] a random act of violence,”Assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Mitch Mortvedt. “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 GoFundMeTo support the boy, a foundation was established.
In the meantime, the mother of the suspect made 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.”