Nine-year-old boy orphaned after parents and sister killed in random holiday attack 

Nine-year-old boy orphaned after parents and sister killed in random holiday attack. Image: Arlo Schmidt/GoFundMe 

Two parents and their 6-year-old daughter were fatally shot on Friday, July 22, at an Iowa state park in the US, while their 9-year-old son, Arlo, survived the random attack.

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 ABC on Saturday, July 23.

Sherwin was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the Maquoketa Caves State Park campsite in Iowa, US.

Jana Morehouse, who identified herself as Sarah’s sister, wrote on Facebook: “Today, my life has been shattered.”

“I cannot fathom that she will no longer be on the other side of the phone,” she wrote.

“I cannot fathom that I don’t get to see Lula grow up.”

“My nephew is strong and our focus in the next few days is on him,” she added.

The Mayor of Cedar Falls, Iowa, where the Schmidt family were from paid a tribute to the family on Saturday, July 23 in a Facebook post that read; “This morning, while camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park, our neighbour and Cedar Falls Public Library employee Sarah Schmidt, along with her husband Tyler, and daughter Lula (age 6) lost their lives to a 23-year old gunman who then took his own life.”

“Like many of you just hearing the news, I’m devastated. I knew Sarah well, and she & her family were regular walkers here in the Sartori Park neighbourhood. I was working with her this week on a public library tech presentation for 7/26.”

“Their 9-year-old son Arlo survived the attack and is safe. I’ve notified neighbours, and for those of you just learning about this through this post, I am so sorry.”

“Details will be forthcoming about services and other memorials, and I will ensure the community knows about this.”

“Please offer some extra grace to the Schmidts’ many friends, neighbours, and coworkers as we try to process this horrible tragedy.”

“The Cedar Falls Library will be closed tomorrow for the sake of the staff who loved and worked with Sarah.”

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Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at