Last Updated, 1/5/23, 11:41 a.m.:
ENOCH, Utah (ABC4) – Three adults and five children were discovered dead from gunshot wounds Wednesday night, Jan. 4, after Enoch Police officers drove to their home for a welfare check.
Police believe that Michael Haight, 42, an insurance salesman, killed his wife, Tausha Haight, 40; her mother, Gail Earl, 78; and his and Tausha’s five children, including three girls ages 17, 12, and 7, and two boys, ages 7 and 4. Haight appears to have taken his own life after killing the other seven. Officials confirmed Tausha Haight had filed for divorce from Michael on Dec. 21.
Police said in a Wednesday night press release they responded to the 4900 North block of Albert Drive. They said Wednesday night and reiterated today that they do not believe there is a threat to the public or that there are any other suspects at large.
Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson told ABC4 it is hard to describe the loss the community is experiencing at the moment.
“The most important thing I can say right now is that the community is feeling remorse, feeling pain,” Dotson said. “There are friends, neighbors, and family members who are hurting right now because of this incident.”
He says the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Enoch City Police Department, and Cedar City Police Department are at the scene leading the investigation, and more information may be available Thursday morning, Jan. 5.
Enoch City Council Member and liaison for the Iron County School District Richard Jenson confirmed in a Wednesday night Facebook post to the Iron County Schools Parents Group, that the five children found dead attended schools in his district.
“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” Jenson wrote. “Our district has a Crisis Intervention Team made up of professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel during difficult times such as this.”
In a tweet Wednesday, Gov. Spencer Cox extended his condolences.
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by this senseless violence. Please keep the community of Enoch in your prayers,” he said.
In a statement from the White House, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden expressed their sorrows with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying the President and First Lady are in mourning with the Enoch City community.
“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,” the statement said. “Less than one month after we marked 10 years since the Sandy Hook tragedy, another mass shooting has claimed the lives of five more children in Enoch City.”
According to the statement from the White House, President believes there is more to be done to keep home, schools and communities safe.
Enoch is a rural city with roughly 8,000 residents in the southwest corner of Utah near Zion National Park. About 250 miles from Salt Lake City, the city is closer to Las Vegas than the Utah capital.