Michael Haight obituary praises Utah Mormon dad who shot up family while ignoring his victims while a GoFundme fundraiser sees the father painted as Jesus in tone deaf presentation.
Disconcert has come to the fore following the revelation of a ‘glowing’ obituary for a Utah man suspected of shooting dead his entire family then self in while an online fundraiser replaces an image of him standing alongside his deceased family with a photo of Jesus.
Police believe Michael Haight, 42, Mormon man gunned down his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, their three daughters, ages 17, 12 and 7, and two sons, ages 7 and 4, on Jan. 4 — two weeks after she had filed for divorce, officials said.
Also killed in the suspected Enoch City murder suicide was his mother-in-law, Gail Earl, 78.
The shooting which left the tight knit Mormon community in disarray has since been left dazed by an obituary which appeared in Spectrum did not – with the obit failing to mention the killings and painting an angelic picture of the shooter (never mind the image of standing alongside his family as that of Jesus Christ) saying he ‘excelled at everything he did’ after graduating from high school in 1998 as a ‘Sterling scholar in business.’
‘He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout,’ the obit stated without once referencing the victims while continuing to laud the shooter as a hero of sorts.
Obituary for the Utah man who fatally shot his five children, mother-in-law and estranged wife: “Michael made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children. Michael enjoyed making memories with the family.” https://t.co/p412A5qZSC
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 14, 2023
‘Michael enjoyed making memories with the family’
Continued the obit: ‘Michael spent the summer after graduation working in Alaska in a fish processing plant. His leadership skills, values of honest hard work and determination quickly led him to be a line manager and over a crew of 10-12 men.
‘Michael was called and served a full-time mission to Porto Alegre South, Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ the obit stated.
Haight was said to have met his future wife during their time at Southern Utah University, where he was named the Outstanding Finance Student.
‘They were married in the St. George Temple on May 10, 2003. Together they welcomed 5 children into their family: Macie Lynn, Briley Ann, Ammon Michael, Sienna Belle, and Gavin Drew,’ the obit said.
‘Each of these children were truly a cherished miracle to them,’ it added. ‘Michael made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children. Michael enjoyed making memories with the family.’
But there was more. The obit also said the dad ‘lived a life of service.’
‘Whether it was serving in the church or in the community, he was willing to help with whatever was needed,‘ the obit read.
Gunman shooter dad appears as Jesus – no shortage of donations forthcoming
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account set up by the family bizarrely replaced Haight with Jesus in a family photo.
The fundraiser, which doesn’t mention Haight, had raised almost $95,000 by Monday noon.
‘Their lives were tragically taken too soon. All who knew them loved them so very much,’ the page reads, adding that the donations will go toward funeral expenses and a memorial fund in honor of the five kids.
Shannon Watts, an activist against gun violence and founder of Moms Demand Action, condemned the fawning obit and shared a link to it on Twitter — while pointing out that ‘none of the obituary comments mention the victims.’
The activist also shared a link to the family’s statement, which supported owning firearms.
‘And if that’s not gross enough, the wife’s family put out a statement supporting … guns: ‘This is the type of loss that will continue to occur in families, communities and this nation when protective arms are no longer accessible,” Watts seethed.
Michael Haight killed his wife aged 40, his daughters aged 7, 12 and 17, his sons aged 4 and 7 and his 78 year old mother in law in Enoch Utah.
You would not know this from the Obituary or the comments below which sing his praises. He killed 7 people.
This is disgraceful. https://t.co/8fhESej3iq
— Kit Marlowe (@marloweKit) January 15, 2023
Lack of firearms made family vulnerable
The eyebrow-raising obit published by the mortuary was later made private.
Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut said police were still investigating the motive for the murder-sucide, but that they were aware that court records showed Tausha filed for divorce on Dec. 21, Insider reported.
Tausha’s sister-in-law, Jennie Earl, told the Associated Press that Michael had removed all guns from the home before the shootings.
She said the lack of access to firearms left Tausha Haight, her mother and her children more ‘vulnerable.’ Nevermind the firearm in the father’s possession.
Police said they had investigated Michael before, suggesting previous problems inside the household.
Mass killings committed by family members are twice as common as those involving strangers, USA Today reported. In 2022, 17 family mass killings occurred in the US, according to a database compiled by the outlet, which defined a mass killing as four or more victims, excluding the attacker.