Man massacred his family when his wife filed for divorce

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A 42-year-old Utah man whose wife had filed for divorce just before Christmas shot dead seven members of his familyincluding her five children, ranging in age from 4 to 17, and then committed suicide, authorities said.

The slaughter Wednesday shocked the Enoch City community in southwestern Utah, where both the mayor and city manager said they knew the Haight family as neighbors.

After reporting the shooting With scant details Wednesday, city officials called a news conference Thursday and identified the shooter as Michael Haight, the father of the five children he killed.

Haight too shot dead his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, and his mother, Gail Earl, 78.

The murdered children They were a 4-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl, authorities said without naming them.

The rural town of about 7,500 is home to a large number of young professionals with children, Chesnut said.

Police were dispatched to the home for a search after Tausha Haight missed an appointment in town and efforts to contact her failed, Chesnut said.

Tausha Haight and one of her daughters they had been seen at a church event Tuesday night, Chesnut said.

Officials declined to draw any conclusions about the impact of the divorce petition which, they said, was presented on December 21.

The head of policeman Jackson Ames said officers were once called to the couple’s home a couple of years ago for an incident he declined to describe, but there have been no recent complaints.

“From what we saw outside, they were phenomenally nice, so everyone I spoke to was absolutely shocked to lose them,” neighbor Garrett Minkler told ABC4 television.

School officials said the counselors were available to classmates from the victims.

City Manager Rob Dotson noted that officials at the news conference were misty-eyed and breathy-voiced due to the emotional toll.

“We don’t know why this happened,” Dotson said. “However, we know that they were our friends. They were our neighbors. And that we loved them.” (rts)

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