Police found eight family members, including five children, shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide in Iron County, Utah, Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
The victims were discovered at the home by police after they had been called to do a welfare check on the residence. Upon arrival, officers found three deceased adults and five deceased children, KUTV2 news reported. Investigators said Michael Haight (42) murdered his wife Tausha (40), their three daughters (7, 12, 17) two sons (4, 7) and his mother-in-law Gail Earl (78), before turning the gun on himself, according to an updated report from KUTV.
Tausha Haight reportedly filed for divorce Dec. 21. Officials said Earl was at the home because of Tausha had allegedly filed for divorce. “We know that her mother was there and had been there providing support through the difficulties they were encountering,” Encoh City Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut told the outlet.
Michael Haight was reportedly an Allstate agent, but quit his job in late December, an unnamed family friend told Fox News 13.
“It’s hard to describe in words the emotions that are going through the people who live here. We all know this family. Many of us have served with them in church, in the community and gone to school with these individuals,” Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson told KUTV2 late Wednesday.
Authorities are expected to release additional information today after last night’s grisly discovery of an Enoch family, five of them school-aged children, found apparently shot to death in their home. Here’s what we know so far: https://t.co/oPXFE2xeTC
— KUTV2news (@KUTV2News) January 5, 2023
Enoch, a small town of about 8,000 residents, is located approximately 250 miles south of Salt Lake City. The town was left reeling by the incident, Dotson reportedly told the press.
“This community at this time is hurting. They’re feeling loss; they’re feeling pain and they have a lot of questions,” he said, according to KUTV. “We won’t know the mindsets, the thoughts, of the individuals who experienced this tragedy. But we all can pray that their families and the neighbors can come to an understanding of what happened in this place, probably within a day or two, or maybe longer.”
The five children allegedly attended Iron County Schools. The district issued its own statement as the news unfolded, saying the deaths were “sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” according to KUTV. (RELATED: 5 Family Members Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide)
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by this senseless violence,” Republican Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox tweeted Wednesday night. “Please keep the community of Enoch in your prayers.”