3 killed in shooting at Iowa state park; gunman also dead

Authorities were investigating four deaths — three homicides and the apparent suicide of a gunman — Friday at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa, north of the Quad-Cities.

According to the Associated Press, three family members were shot to death while camping in the park in eastern Iowa, and the suspected gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation assistant director Mitch Mortvedt said the three victims were related. He did not provide their names or ages, or explain how they were related.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation​ were called about 6:23 a.m. for a report of a shooting at the park campground and found three people dead at a camp site, Mike Krapfl, a special agent in charge with DCI​, said during a preliminary news conference late Friday morning.

As they investigated, police found another camper was missing and had information that he was armed.

That camper, identified as Anthony Sherwin, 23, was found dead about 11 a.m. west of the park, Krapfl said. He had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Krapfl said he believed Sherwin was from Nebraska.

“He was known to be armed. That of course heightened our awareness as well,” Mortvedt said. Iowa allows people with permits to carry firearms virtually anywhere in the state. Officials did not say if Sherwin had a permit.

There were other campers in the park at the time, and at least some of them were evacuated, Krapfl said. No one else was reported injured.

A children’s summer camp on site called Camp Shalom said in a Facebook post that parents had been notified and that it had established a pick-up site for campers. Camp Shalom officials said they have accounted for all campers.

Krapfl said there was believed to be no further threat to the public.

The park would be closed until further notice, the DCI release states.

Autopsies on Sherwin and the victims were scheduled to be performed over the weekend, Mortvedt said, and more information would likely be released based on those findings.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a statement Friday afternoon: “I’m horrified by the shooting this morning at Maquoketa Caves State Park and devastated by the loss of three innocent lives.”

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