A Utah man fatally shot his family of seven in a home Wednesday and then himself, authorities said.
Michael Haight, 42, his wife; Tausha Haight, 40; and Tausha’s mother, Gail Earl, 78, were discovered dead at the home, said officials in Enoch City in southwestern Utah, about 180 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The couple’s five children, ages 4 to 17, were also killed.
The city called Michael Haight a suspect in a statement Thursday.
Tausha Haight had filed a divorce petition in late December, officials said at a media briefing, stopping short of saying that was a factor in the deaths.
Eight family members found dead in Utah homeJan. 5, 202300:54
“Investigators currently believe there are no suspects outstanding. Evidence suggests that the suspect took his own life after killing seven others in the home,” the statement said.
The children were identified only by their ages and genders: a 17-year-old female, a 12-year-old female, a 7-year-old female, a 7-year-old male and a 4-year-old male.
Concerned family and friends called police to the home for a welfare check about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chestnut said the incident has shaken the tight-knit community of about 7,500 residents.
"The Haights were my neighbors. The youngest children played in my yard with my sons," Chestnut said at a news conference Thursday. "This is a tremendous blow to many, many families who have spent many, many nights with these individuals who are now gone."
City Manager Rob Dotson mourned the family Thursday.
"We don't know why this happened. No one will probably know what was going through the minds of these individuals," he said. "However, we do know that they were our friends, they were our neighbors and that we loved them."
Police Chief Jackson Ames said police were involved with some investigations with the family a couple of years ago. He declined to elaborate.
Police completed a welfare check after Tausha Haight missed an appointment Wednesday, officials said.
The Iron County School District said in a letter to district parents and guardians that the five children were students there.
“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” the letter said.
The district said a crisis intervention team will be available for students.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.