A NINE-year-old boy was orphaned after his mother, father and six-year-old sister were killed by a gunman in what appeared to be a random attack at a campsite.
Tyler and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, were found dead in their tent with their daughter Lula after being gunned down by Anthony Sherwin, according to police.
Sherwin was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound west of campgrounds at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa, Iowa.
Viewers have described seeing the murdered couple’s son, Arlo, wearing pajamas and standing alone after escaping the massacre with no physical injuries.
Felicia Coe, 35, of Des Moines, told ABC News she saw Arlo standing near paramedics.
“He was in his pyjamas.”
“I remember clearly that he had a blue tennis shoe,” she said.
“He has this really cute, limp-curly, moppy, strawberry-blonde hair that’s really distinguishable,” Coe said.
“He was wearing these super cute little pajamas, like a cotton t-shirt and shorts that matched. … He just stood there.
“He didn’t cry. He wasn’t upset.”
“But he wasn’t comforted either. He just stood there alone.”
He was reportedly unharmed and his family were found dead in their tent.
A GoFundMe for Tyler and Sarah’s surviving son, Arlo, has raised approximately $80,000.
The money will be used to help Arlo’s education now and in the future.
“Arlo is a strong boy surrounded by family and friends who support him in any way they can,” the page said.
“My nephew is strong and we are focusing on him over the next few days,” wrote Jana Morehouse, Sarah’s sister, on Facebook.
“As we inexplicably work to select rest stops for Sarah, Tyler and Lula, we also want to thank everyone who reached out and kept us going over the last 24 hours.”
“Please don’t take time for granted.
“Go out today. To breathe. Sarah would have wanted that.”
Joseph Sherwin, the father of shooting suspect Anthony Sherwin, who both lived in Nebraska, told the Des Moines Register that he and his son were camping at Maquoketa Caves State Park Friday.
He told the outlet he was woken up by someone’s gunshots and screams.
“I saw a little boy from the area running and calling for help.”
“I told him to keep running in my direction and I would help him.”
“I asked him what happened and he said a man in black shot his family,” the father said.
He told the outlet his son doesn’t wear black but they were traveling legally with a gun, but it was in a secure container under the back seat.
The younger Sherwin was found by police with a gunshot wound to the head.
He had no criminal record and lived with his parents.
“We refuse to believe the news.”
“We are deeply saddened as he had so much to live and gave us no indication anything was wrong.”
“We appreciate your respect for our privacy at this time,” said Joseph Sherwin.
Orphan boy, 9, left alone in pajamas after parents and sister, 6, ‘killed in tent by random attacker at campsite’