A NINE-year-old boy has been left orphaned after his mom, father and six-year-old sister were all killed by a gunman in an apparently random attack at a campsite.
Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, were found dead in their tent along with their daughter Lula after being gunned down by Anthony Sherwin, according to police.
Sarah and Tyler Schmidt, and their six-year-old daughter, were killed
Sherwin was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound just west of campgrounds at the Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa, Iowa.
Onlookers have described seeing the slain couple’s son, Arlo, wearing pajamas and standing alone after escaping the massacre with no physical injuries.
Felicia Coe, 35, of Des Moines, told ABC News she saw Arlo standing near paramedics.
“He was in his pajamas.”
Officers searching the campground found the body of a Nebraska man who had died from a self-inflicted gunshot woundCredit: AP:Associated Press
“I distinctly remember he had one blue tennis shoe,” she said.
“He’s got this really cute, floppy-curly, moppy, strawberry-blond hair that’s really distinguishable,” Coe said.
“He was in these super cute little pajamas, like a cotton T-shirt and shorts that matched. … He was just standing there.
“He wasn’t crying. He wasn’t distraught.”
“But he also wasn’t being comforted. He was just standing there by himself.”
Reports say he was uninjured and his family was found dead in their tent.
A GoFundMe for Tyler and Sarah’s surviving son, Arlo, has raised around $80,000.
The money will go towards helping Arlo now and his future education.
“Arlo is a strong boy, surrounded by family and friends who are supporting him as best we can,” the page said.
“My nephew is strong and our focus in the next few days is on him,” Jana Morehouse, Sarah’s sister wrote on Facebook.
“As we incomprehensibly work to choose resting spots for Sarah, Tyler, and Lula, we also thank everyone who has reached out and kept us going the last 24 hours.”
“Please don’t take any time for granted.
“Go outside today. Breathe. Sarah would have wanted that.”
Joseph Sherwin, the father of shooting suspect Anthony Sherwin, who both lived in Nebraska, told the Des Moines Register that he and his son were camping Friday at the Maquoketa Caves State Park.
He told the outlet he awoke to the sound of gunshots and someone yelling.
“I saw a young boy run up from the area yelling for help.”
“I told him to keep running in my direction and I would help him.”
“ I asked him what happened and he said a man in black shot his family,” the father said.
He told the outlet his son was not wearing black but that they were legally traveling with a gun but it was in a secure container under the back seat.”
The younger Sherwin was found by police with a gunshot wound to the head.
He had no criminal history and was living with his parents.
“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.”
“We appreciate you respecting our privacy at this time,” Joseph Sherwin said.
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