Today's killing at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground in Iowa has all the makings of another senseless shooting, Radar has learned.
While police have not yet divulged the identities of the three dead shooting victims, they confirmed that the suspected shooter, 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin from Nebraska, was found nearby, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The park will remain closed until further notice.
“I’m horrified by the shooting this morning at Maquoketa Caves State Park and devastated by the loss of three innocent lives,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “As we grieve this unimaginable tragedy, Kevin and I pray for the victims’ family members and the law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. We ask Iowans to do the same.”
Camp Shalom, a children's camp based in the park, evacuated all children to nearby Little Bear Park after the shooting and alerted parents that pickup could occur as usual after 11 a.m. worship. All children at the camp were accounted for.
“This was a horrifying and senseless act of violence,” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) said in a separate statement. “As we wait to learn more, I join all Iowans in praying for those who lost their lives and our community. My team will continue to be in contact with local officials and I am grateful for our law enforcement officers who are working to keep us safe."
It is not immediately clear if Sherwin had a connection to the three victims.
Officers for the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation responded around 6:20 a.m. after a report was received of a shooting.
The Maquoketa state park is known for its 1,100-foot long Dancehall Cave, one of 13 designated caves that are large enough to be navigated and explored by humans. There are a total of 30 campsites across the park.