Five children are among the eight family members who were found shot dead inside a rural Utah home on Wednesday, according to authorities, in what appears to be a murder-suicide.
Local authorities in Enoch City, a farming community about 245 miles south of Salt Lake City, said that police officers made the discovery while performing a welfare check at the home. Enoch City is northeast of Utah’s border with Nevada and Arizona.
Michael Haight, 42, was identified as the shooting suspect by city officials on Thursday.
Tausha Haight, Haight’s wife, who is 40 years old, and Gail Earl, Tausha’s mother, who is 78 years old, were the two other adults found in the house. A 17-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy, and a 4-year-old boy were all identified as being the shooting suspect’s kids.
At a news conference on Thursday morning, Rob Dotson, the city manager for Enoch, informed the media that “evidence indicated that the suspect took his own life after killing seven individuals in the residence.”
The official cause of death for the victims will be determined by autopsies performed by the state medical office, according to Dotson.
Dotson claims that after “someone with whom (the mother) had an appointment” informed police she did not arrive, a welfare check was conducted.
According to Dotson, the news that the family had been discovered dead and that they were well-known in the neighborhood sent the neighborhood into shock.
Many of us have worked with them in the church, the community, and at school, according to Dotson.
The five children attended preschools, primary, middle, and high schools in the Iron County School District, according to officials.
During the press conference, Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut struggled to contain his tears as he said, “My neighbours, the Haights, had small kids who played in my yard with my boys. In Enoch, there are lots of families and young professionals. This is causing a lot of families who have spent many nights with these now-dead folks to suffer terribly “.
Dodson reported that a divorce petition was submitted on December 1. 21 by the alleged shooter’s wife. Who was residing in the house at the time of the killings, he claimed not to know. The Enoch Police Department and Iron County are two of the organizations collaborating to find out what happened inside the house. Dotson said, “We have no idea what occurred. We adored them and considered them to be friends and neighbors. “. This neighborhood is struggling right now. They are grieving, they are in pain, and they are filled with questions,” Dotson continued.
White House reaction.
The White House issued the following statement on Thursday. The President and First Lady are in grief with the people of Enoch City, Utah following a horrible shooting that allegedly killed five children and multiple adults in their house.
Gun violence continues to be the number one killer of children in America, and it has claimed the lives of too many Americans or altered their lives irrevocably. Five more children have died in a mass shooting in Enoch City less than a month after we commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy. “.