Michael Haight was a married Utah insurance agent who is accused of shooting seven family members – including five children – to death before killing himself in Enoch, Utah, police wrote in a press release.
In the press release issued on January 5, 2023, Enoch City Police said they were summoned to 4923 North Albert Drive in reference to a welfare check on January 4, 2023. They found eight bodies, including Haight’s wife and mother-in-law and children ranging in age from 4 to 17, the release says.
Police wrote that evidence “suggests that the suspect took his own life after killing seven others in the home.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say Michael Haight Killed His Family After His Wife Filed for Divorce
The two other deceased adults in the home were Haight’s wife, Tausha Haight, 40, and Tausha’s mother, Gail Earl, 78, the press release said.
The minors were identified as the Haights’ children: a female 17; a female, 12; a female, 7; a male, 7; and a male, 4, according to the release.
More information may be available as police collect evidence, interview witnesses, and perform autopsies, the release said.
In the news conference, Rob Dotson, city manager for Enoch and the public information officer, said that Tausha Haight missed an appointment, and a missing person’s report was filed. Eventually, this “became an effort to find the entire family,” Dotson said in the news conference.
Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut said in the news conference that Tausha Haight had filed for divorce on December 21, 2022. Her mother was in the home providing support through the “difficulties” in the family, Chesnut said. The daughter and mother were at a church activity the night before, said Chesnut in the press conference.
Jackson Ames, the Enoch City police chief, said in the news conference that authorities had been involved in previous investigations involving the family but would not detail them. He said they were “nothing recent.” Ames said in the news conference that those investigations were a “couple of years prior.”
Tausha Haight’s divorce lawyer James Park told the Associated Press that Michael Haight was served with the divorce papers December 27. Divorce records are sealed in Utah, so the reasons for the divorce were not public, the AP reported. Park told AP that Tausha Haight did not express fear that her husband would cause her physical harm; the lawyer told AP she was “an incredibly nice lady.”
2. Police Responded to the Home for a Welfare Check & Found the Victims All Shot
Police explained in the news release how they arrived at the scene.
“Concerned family and friends contacted police after not hearing from the victims,” the release said.
“Officers entered the residence at approximately 4 p.m. and discovered three adults and five minors deceased inside the home. Each appeared to have sustained gunshot wounds,” the release says.
Chesnut said in the news conference that the Haights were his neighbors, and the youngest children played in his yard with his sons.
Enoch city “is a very close community,” he said. Just a few weeks ago, he mentioned to his wife that fewer than 1 percent of the homes in Enoch City were for sale. “No one wants to leave here,” he said in the news conference, adding that neighbors are good and people treat each other like family.
“This is a tremendous blow,” said Chesnut in the news conference.
The Associated Press reported that the family’s home was covered with Christmas lights and stood “in a neighborhood of newly built single-family houses on a ridge overlooking Enoch.”
3. Tausha Haight, Who Married Michael in an LDS Temple in 2003, Filled Her Facebook Page With Family Photos
A 2003 wedding announcement in The Daily Spectrum said that Tausha Earl and Michael Haight were married on May 16, 2003, in the St. George Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple.
The parents of the bride were Boyd and Gail Earl of Overton, Nevada. The parents of the groom were Robin and Brenda Haight of Cedar City. The article, accessed via Newspapers.com, said the couple planned to make their home in Cedar City.
Robin Haight died in 2018, according to his obituary in the Daily Spectrum, accessed via Newspapers.com. That obituary says that Robin Haight was a dentist and LDS missionary to New Zealand who had four children and served in various capacities in the LDS church, including on the High Council and in Scouting.
Tausha Haight filled her Facebook page with family photos in which she and her husband posed with their five children.
A 2018 photo on her page showed Haight with her husband and some of their children standing in front of a Jesus Christ statue.
The Iron County School District released a statement on the tragedy on its website that said the five Haight children were students in the district:
It is with deep regret that we inform you about a tragic loss to our school community. This afternoon, on Jan. 4, eight members of a family residing in Enoch with five students in our schools tragically passed away. This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students.
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. At our schools, we will have counselors available for any student who may need or want help or assistance surrounding this loss. Students should report to the counseling center or their school administrative offices to access that support.
If you would like additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the counselor where your student attends school.
We are saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as needed.
4. Michael Haight Worked as an Insurance Agent
A former client wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that Mike Haight worked at Allstate in Cedar City as an insurance agent. The client wrote about receiving a call from a tenant about a garage being on fire.
“Once again,” the client wrote, Mike and Tausha Haight are “taking care of me. His team has it taken down and are working on a plan to rebuild.”
The police news release says that, “while this intense investigation is ongoing, investigators currently believe there are no suspects outstanding.”
Police wrote: “We join with all who are deeply saddened by this tragic incident and want to express our condolences to the family and friends of the victims.”
5. Utah’s Governor Tweeted That ‘Our Hearts Go Out to All Those Affected by This Senseless Violence’
Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox tweeted condolences, “Our hearts go out to all those affected by this senseless violence. Please keep the community of Enoch in your prayers.”
Lt. Gov. Deidre M. Henderson tweeted, “What a tragedy. I’m praying for the community of Enoch tonight.”
President Joe Biden released a statement on the Enoch tragedy that said, in part,
The President and First Lady 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.
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. 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.