Three people were found killed on Friday at a campground at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa after the authorities received a call about a triple homicide at 6:23 a.m.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a statement on Friday that after searching the area, the police found a fourth person, a 23-year-old man, who appeared to have sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It was unclear whether the victims had any relationship with the man, who was the suspected killer in the other three deaths and whom the police identified as Anthony Orlando Sherwin, 23.
The department said that there was no further threat to the public and that the park would be closed until further notice.
Camp Shalom, a Christian camp and retreat center in Maquoketa, Iowa, was among those to evacuate the area on Friday morning, the camp said in a post on Facebook. All campers and staff members were accounted for and safe, the camp said.
The camp holds a number of summer programs for people with disabilities, including children, families and adults, from “a variety of denominations” of Christianity, according to its website.
Beth Sallak, an executive assistant at Camp Shalom, said the program director was notified at 9:13 a.m. of an active shooter situation at Maquoketa Caves, located a mile and a half from the camp. Staff members had initially been preparing for camp checkout but “switched gears” and loaded campers onto two buses that evacuated them to a nearby playground.
“This is the world we live in,” Ms. Sallak said. “So we have to train for things like this, and they handled everything incredibly well.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement on Friday that she was “horrified by the shooting” and “devastated by the loss of three innocent lives.”
Maquoketa Caves State Park is on 370 acres roughly 60 miles east of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The state’s Department of Natural Resources describes the park on its website as “a popular destination for picnickers and hikers.” A six-mile hiking trail connects the park’s 13 caves, including Dancehall Cave, which is 1,100 feet long, according to the site.
“It’s a great place to visit,” Ms. Sallak said. “Until today.”
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