Michael Haight has been identified by police in Utah as the person responsible for killing seven family members before taking his own life. According to police reports a wellness check was done on the Haight family who lived in Enoch City and officers would find eight people dead including the five Haight children. Police would later identify the deceased as Tausha Haight, 40, and Tausha’s mother, 78-year-old Gail Earl. The other five victims were identified as the shooting suspect’s children: a 17-year-old girl, 12-year-old girl, 7-year-old girl, 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy. Police believe the murder suicide was due to Tausha Haight plan on filing for divorce from Michael Haight.
Michael Haight More News
A Utah man fatally shot his family of seven in a home Wednesday and then turned the gun on himself, authorities said.
According to a statement from Enoch City in southwestern Utah, Michael Haight, 42, his wife; Tausha Haight, 40, and Tausha’s mother; 78-year-old Gail Earl, were discovered dead at the home on North Albert Drive. Also dead were the couple’s five minor children, ranging in ages from 4 to 17.
The statement described Michael Haight as a “suspect.”
Officials at a media briefing said Tausha Haight had filed a divorce petition in late December. But they stopped short of saying that was a motive.
“While this intense investigation is ongoing, 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 minor children were only identified by their ages and genders as 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.
Police were called to the home at about 4 p.m. for a welfare check by concerned family and friends, the Thursday statement said.
Enoch City is about 180 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
During a news conference Thursday, 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,” an emotional Chestnut said. “This is a tremendous blow to many, many families who have spent many, many nights with these individuals who are now gone.”
“We don’t know why this happened. No one will probably know what was going through the minds of these individuals,” City Manager Rob Dotson said Thursday. “However, we do know that they were our friends, they were our neighbors and that we loved them.”
At the media briefing, Enoch City Police Chief Jackson Ames said police had been involved with some investigations with the family a couple years prior, but declined to elaborate.
Officials said a welfare check was prompted by Tausha Haight missing an appointment Wednesday.
The Iron County School District said the five children were students there, according to a letter that was addressed to district parents and guardians.
“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” the letter said.
The district added that a crisis intervention team would be available for students.
On Twitter, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox called the violence “senseless” and asked people to keep Enoch in their prayers
Haight’s relatives could not be immediately reached Thursday. Neighbors were also not reached.
Michael Haight Other News
Eight people from one family, including five children, were found shot to death inside a southern Utah home Wednesday afternoon in an apparent murder-suicide, officials announced Thursday.
The children’s father, 42-year-old Michael Haight, is suspected of killing the children; his wife, 40-year-old Tausha Haight; and Tausha’s mother, 78-year-old Gail Earl, before killing himself, officials said.
The children were identified by age Thursday as a 17-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy, according to a news release from Enoch City.
On Wednesday, police were asked to check on the family at their home on the 4900 North block of Albert Drive, where they found Michael Haight and the seven victims dead inside at around 4 p.m.
“Each appeared to have sustained gunshot wounds,” officials said
According to court records, Tausha had petitioned for divorce from Michael in December.
Enoch is home to about 8,000 people, located about 7 miles northeast of Cedar City in Iron County. Late Wednesday, Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson said the community was reeling after news of the family’s deaths, all of whom were well-known in the town.
“Many of us have served with them in church, in the community and gone to school with these individuals,” Dotson said Wednesday night.
In a statement Thursday, city officials said they join “all who are deeply saddened by this tragic incident and want to express our condolences to the family and friends of the victims.”
Each of the children killed attended public school in Iron County, according to the Iron County School District. The district sent an email to parents and guardians Wednesday about the “tragic loss.”
“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students,” a district statement read.
Thursday morning was “very difficult” for both students and staff at local schools, said Iron County School District spokeswoman Shauna Lund.
“It’s a small community,” Lund said, “and schools become families. These students go through school together, get to know one another very well.”
Lund added that there were “a lot of emotions, even in schools these students didn’t attend, just because so many people knew them.”
The district’s crisis intervention team was dispatched to Iron County schools Thursday, and counseling will be available to students, parents and school personnel “who may need or want help or assistance surrounding this loss,” according to the district.
Schools are working with other groups in the community, including Southwest Behavioral Health, to set up a community crisis center where people can get help “even after school hours,” Lund said, as well as for those who don’t have access to help through the school district.
Counseling will be available “as long as we see the need,” Lund continued.
In a tweet, Gov. Spencer Cox asked Utahns to “keep the community of Enoch in your prayers.” Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson tweeted that she is “praying for the community of Enoch tonight.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday also shared that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden “are mourning with the Enoch City, Utah community in the wake of a tragic shooting that has reportedly claimed the lives of five children and multiple adults in their family home.”
More details on the killings were not immediately available as of Thursday morning.