Mystery of family slaughtered at campsite after ‘gunman’s’ mom says she 'refuses' to believe official version of events | The Sun

THE mother of an alleged shooter who killed three members of one family at a campsite "refuses" to believe the version of events given by officials.

The Schmidt family was at Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground in Iowa on Friday, when a gunman shot and killed the parents and their daughter, with the son escaping, according to police.

Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, were killed along with their six-year-old daughter, Lulu.

The alleged shooter, Anthony Sherwin, 23, from Nebraska was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound five hours later, according to officials.

The parent's nine-year-old son, Arlo, was the sole survivor of the shooting, but it is unclear where he was during the attack.

“Arlo was incredible and courageous throughout all of this," Adam Morehouse, Sarah's brother, told The Sun in an exclusive interview.

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He said the boy "definitely has a stronger mind than the average nine-year-old in everything he does."

Morehouse told the Associated Press that the family had no connection to the alleged shooter and that he believed it was a “completely random act.”

Cecilia Sherwin, the alleged shooter's mother, told the Omaha World-Herald that her family was camping when she heard yelling and two gunshots.

A young boy then ran up to the Sherwins at their campsite and yelled for help.

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He allegedly told Cecilia that a man wearing black had shot his family.

This didn't add up to what Cecilia thought she knew. She claimed Anthony was wearing green, not black.

The mother also disclosed that her family was traveling with a gun, but that it was located in a secure container.

Cecilia told the World-Herald, “We think [Anthony] might have sensed trouble and grabbed the gun for safety."

“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," she said.

Anthony had no criminal record and gave his family "no warning that he was planning anything of this sort," according to Cecilia.

"Anthony was not capable of this sort of violence," Cecilia said.

She continued: "I didn't think we had any tears left but we still find ourselves breaking down and care deeply for the little boy and the loss of his family."

The Sherwin's have "cooperated fully with the police and investigative team from the get-go," Cecilia said.

They told police that Anthony was missing and that they feared he was killed by a different man, the one the boy described to Cecilia.

Another camper in the area, Felicia Coe, told The Washington Post that her boyfriend's teenage son saw an older couple looking for someone named Anthony, while he was out for a jog.

While the teenager was in the bathroom, the couple knocked on the door and asked, “Anthony, are you in there, buddy?”

Police have not said what type of gun was used in the murder of the Schmidts or if Anthony had a firearm permit.

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The Department of Public Safety said that autopsies on the Schmidts are expected to occur over the weekend.

An autopsy of Sherwin will also be conducted by the state medical examiner.

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