A family of three was fatally shot Friday, July 22, 2022 while camping at an Iowa State Park. The victims were Tyler Schmidt, 42, Sarah Schmidt, 42, and Lula, 6, the couple’s six-year-old daughter. Arlo Schmidt, aged 9, was the sole survivor. Anthony Sherwin, the suspected gunman, also reportedly died from “self-inflicted” gunshot wounds.
There is a popular campground in eastern Iowa called Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground. The bodies of the murdered family were reportedly discovered in their tent, according to police.
At around 6:30 a.m., they went to a complaint about a campground shooting, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. The three victims were linked, according to the department’s assistant director, Mitch Mortvedt, who was unable to provide an explanation for the crimes.
“The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and DCI were notified at 6:23 a.m. this morning of a triple homicide at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground. Three bodies were discovered by the police. Officers later found that a motorhome was missing. Officers searched the area before discovering the body of 23-year-old Anthony Orlando Sherwin west of the park. There is no danger to the public as Sherwin appears to have shot himself.”
Three innocent people were killed in a mass shooting at Maquoketa Caves State Park this morning and Iowans are mourning their deaths. Iowa is beset by gun violence and we will demand that sane gun laws be enacted in memory of their lives.
The park remained closed Friday while additional investigations were conducted, although authorities believe the threat is no longer existent.
The triple murder draws attention to Iowa’s nonexistent gun laws because “he was known to be armed.”
Maquoketa Caves State Park, a popular campground in southern Iowa, was the latest casualty of America’s rise in gun violence. Shots were fired early Friday morning, resulting in the death of a toddler and his parents. Anthony Sherwin, the shooter, committed suicide after killing others.
For safety reasons, the park and a nearby summer camp for children had to be evacuated. Mitch Mortvedt, an assistant department head, commented on the Nebraska shooter:
“It was rumored that he was carrying a gun. Of course, that also raised our awareness.”
Iowa has few gun restrictions, and open carrying a handgun is legal everywhere. Police have not released any information about Sherwin’s possession of a firearm.
Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa signed House Bill 756 into law in April 2021, which went into effect in July of the same year. The new law eliminated the need for a permit to purchase a firearm or carry a concealed weapon within state lines. American Brothers in Arms owner Chase Cejka previously stated:
“It restores a constitutional right without requiring a permit. We never thought it right that in the state of Iowa you need a permit to even buy a firearm. After a background check, you should be allowed to enter and take this weapon with you.”
The Maquoketa Caves shooting is the third public shooting in the state since 2022. Earlier this year, a 16-year-old was killed in a shooting outside Des Moines East High School. A gunman in Ames, Iowa, killed two college students outside Cornerstone Church in June.