Michael and Tausha Haight murder suicide: Utah Mormon dad shoots wife dead, five kids, mom in law and self two weeks after wife filed for divorce from husband.
A Utah man gunned down seven family members, including his five children between ages 4 and 17, then turned the gun on himself in a suspected murder-suicide — two weeks after his wife had filed for divorce, authorities said.
Officials in Enoch City on Thursday identified the suspected gunman in the murder-suicide as 42-year-old Michael Haight, and the victims as his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, their three daughters, ages 17, 12 and 7, and two sons, ages 7 and 4.
Also killed was Tausha Haight’s mother, 78-year-old Gail Earl, according to a press release from the Enoch City government. Each of the victims appeared to have gunshot wounds.
Court records showed wife Tausha after having been married for 20 years filing for divorce from Michael on Dec. 21, but it was not immediately known why she had sought to end their marriage.
Police sent officers to perform a welfare check on the Haight family Wednesday after relatives and friends contacted officials saying they were worried and had not heard from the victims.
Just arrived in Enoch, Utah. This is the house where police say it’s likely that 42-year-old Michael Haight shot seven family members to death before killing himself. Details here: https://t.co/nxxJgogDP2 pic.twitter.com/KzmwvMFTYl
— Lincoln Graves (@LincolnGraves) January 5, 2023
Cops found all eight family members dead inside their home still decked with Christmas lights on Albert Drive.
‘At this time, we do not believe there is a threat to the public or that there are any suspects at large,’ officials said in a press release.
Of note, authorities had attended the property in recent years over a domestic disturbance, Jackson Ames, police chief in the city of Enoch, said yesterday.
Police have not confirmed that the husband was motivated by his wife’s divorce.
James Park, a lawyer who represented Mrs Haight in the divorce case, said she had not expressed any fear that her husband would physically hurt her.
All victims belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known widely as the Mormon church and were widely known within the faith and community.
Enoch is a town of about 8,000 people located 245 miles south of Salt Lake City and about equally distant from Las Vegas. The town is one of the fastest-growing areas of the country, and communities of new homes on big lots are made up primarily of large families that belong, like most in Utah, to the Mormon faith.
Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson said the community was left reeling from news of the tragedy and that the Haights 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. ‘This community at this time is hurting. They’re feeling loss, they’re feeling pain and they have a lot of questions.’
Michael and Tausha Haight’s five children attended schools in the Iron County School District, officials said in a letter sent to parents.The children were described as three girls, ages 17, 12 and 7, and two boys, ages 7 and 4.
Family mass killings have become a disturbingly common tragedy across the U.S. In 2022 there were 17 of them, according to a database compiled by USA Today, The Associated Press and Northeastern University. Ten were murder-suicides, and 14 were shootings. The database defines a mass killing as four or more people slain, not including the assailant.