Utah man kills family in murder-suicide

Cedar City, Utah resident leaves flowers outside the Haight home, where all eight family members were found dead. Michael Haight took his own life after killing his wife, mother-in-law and five children. (AP News)

An Enoch, Utah family was found dead inside their home on Thursday, Jan. 5 in a murder-suicide, according to city manager Rob Dotson. Eight individuals, consisting of three adults and five minors, sustained gunshot wounds.

42-year-old Michael Haight is suspected of shooting and killing his 40-year-old wife Tausha Haight, 78-year-old mother-in-law Gail Earl and five children — a four-year-old boy, seven-year-old boy, seven-year-old girl, 12-year-old girl and 17-year-old girl before evidence suggests he killed himself.

The police found the family in their home on the 4900 North block of Albert Drive at around 4 p.m., after responding to a welfare check from concerned community members who had not heard from the victims, most specifically Tausha, who missed an appointment.

“The most important thing we can say right now is that this community is feeling remorse, feeling pain. There are family members and friends who are hurting because of this incident,” Dotson said.

According to court records Tausha Haight filed for divorce from Michael just two weeks before this incident, although Dotson said “we don’t know why this happened and we’re not going to guess.”

The investigation is ongoing and the Enoch City Police Department will release information as it comes forward.

Enoch mayor Geoffrey Chestnut expressed his grief at the situation in a press release, as the Haight children were friends with his own children and would often play together.

According to Chestnut, Enoch is a close-knit community. Less than 1% of the homes in Enoch are for sale, Chestnut noted, because “no one wants to leave here.”

Additionally, according to Chestnut, Enoch has received great support and many resources, including from Governor Spencer Cox and the National Security Council.

“We here in Enoch, a little town of about 7500, are very grateful to the greater world at large who are mindful of us at this time,” Chestnut said, but asks that their privacy be respected.

President Biden and his wife, Jill, are mourning with the city of Enoch. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement on the matter, stating that “too many Americans have lost loved ones or had their lives forever changed due to gun violence, and gun violence remains the leading cause of death for children in America.”

According to the statement, this incident was “another mass shooting that claimed the lives of five or more children in Enoch City,” that occurred less than one month after the ten-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

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