A 9-year-old boy survived a brutal attack at an Iowa state park on Friday that left his parents and 6-year-old sister dead.
Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green provided the information that the boy had survived in a Facebook post, although he didn’t clarify if the child was at the campsite when a gunman shot dead the other three members of his family.
Another camper, however, told the Des Moines Register that she saw a boy in the aftermath of the shooting who looked like the boy in pictures of the family.
“He wasn’t reacting,” Felicia Coe said. “Nothing was happening. He wasn’t crying. Nobody was holding him. … He was just standing there in his pajamas.”
Coe said the boy wore a matching pajama set and one blue shoe.
In his post, Green said he was a neighbor of the victims, identified as Tyler Schmidt, 42; Sarah Schmidt, 42; and Lula Schmidt. They were found dead in the tent at about 6:30 a.m. Friday after campers reported hearing gunshots.
“Like many of you just hearing the news, I’m devastated,” Green wrote online. “I knew Sarah well, and she & her family were regular walkers here in the Sartori Park neighborhood.”
Sarah Schmidt worked at the library, he said, adding that the library would be closed on Saturday.
Investigators identified Anthony Sherwin, 23, as the gunman after evacuating Maquoketa Caves State Park and discovering he was the only registered camper missing. His body was later found with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
“We don’t know what led up to this, what precipitated it,” Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation, said, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported. So far, he said, “the investigation has not revealed any early interaction between the Schmidt family and him.”
Sherwin reported lived in an apartment with his parents in La Vista, Nebraska, where Police Chief Bob Lausten said he had no history of criminal conduct, the Register reported.
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[Featured image: Tyler, Sarah, and Lula Schmidt/GoFundMe]