Parents and their child killed in US shooting — Analysis

According to reports, the stranger responsible for shooting down the family’s tent was not aware of their motives.

After his younger sister and parents were killed while they camped at an Iowa state park, a nine-year old boy became the sole survivor. He then committed suicide by turning the gun on his own.

Police say that the Maquoketa Caves State Park shooting in eastern Iowa happened early Friday morning. The victims – identified as Cedar Falls residents Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, and their 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt – were found dead in their tent. The couple’s son, Arlo Schmidt, survived the attack, Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green said in a Facebook post. 

“Like many of you just hearing the news, I’m devastated,”Green did not provide any details about how Arlo Schmidt survived injury. “I knew Sarah well, and she and her family were regular walkers here in the Sartori Park neighborhood.”

According to state police, officers investigating the shooting discovered that one camper at the park had gone missing. Anthony Orlando Sherwin (23 years old) was shot in the head and later died from his injuries.

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Police don’t believe the shooting suspect, who was from the neighboring state of Nebraska, had any relationship with the Schmidts, the New York Times reported. Investigators haven’t determined a possible motive for the attack.

“We don’t know what led up to this, what precipitated it,”The Associated Press was informed by Mitch Mortvedt (assistant director for criminal investigations in the state police). He added that so far, “the investigation has not revealed any early interaction between the Schmidt family and [Sherwin].”

This triple-homicide occurs amid a string of mass shootings across the US. Democrats have been pushing for new gun ownership restrictions. The first major legislation on gun control that Congress has passed in almost three decades was signed by President Joe Biden last month.

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