CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Family of slain Utah family says husband took guns from home

Jan 6, 2023, 6:53 PM | Updated: 6:54 pm
domestic violence...
Jess, left, sits next to her sister, Cecily, during a press conference regarding the killing of a family in Enoch, Utah on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. A Utah man fatally shot his five children, his mother-in-law and his wife, then killed himself two weeks after the woman had filed for divorce, according to authorities and public records.(Ben B. Braun/The Deseret News via AP)
(Ben B. Braun/The Deseret News via AP)

ENOCH, Utah (AP) — A Utah man who fatally shot his five children, mother-in-law and wife and then killed himself removed guns owned by himself and his wife days before the murder-suicide, leaving the family “vulnerable,” a relative said Friday.

The wife, Tausha Haight, told her extended family that her husband, Mike Haight, took the guns from the family’s home this week, just two weeks after she had filed for divorce, sister-in-law Jennie Earl told The Associated Press.

She said she did not know how Tausha Haight felt about the removal but said it “left the family vulnerable,” noting that both Tausha and her mother, Gail Earl, were trained in gun safety and personal protection. Jennie Earl’s comments came after the Earl family issued a statement lamenting the tragedy and revealing that guns had been removed.

“Protective arms were purposely removed from the home prior to the incident because all adults were properly trained to protect human life,” the Earl family said in a statement. “This is the type of loss that will continue to occur in families, communities and this nation when protective arms are no longer accessible.”

Enoch city manager Rob Dotson said local law enforcement were not involved, saying in an emailed statement that police “has never had reason and has never had to remove firearms.”

The revelation provides more insight into what happened in the days leading up to a shooting in a southern Utah home that occurred after Tausha Haight had filed for divorce on Dec. 21 from her husband of 19 years.

The victims were found Wednesday when police did a welfare check at the residence, according city officials in Enoch, a small town of about 8,000 people located 245 miles (394 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

Without knowing the details about how the shootings unfolded it is not clear whether having those firearms in the home could have helped stop the bloodshed, Jennie Earl said. However, if either Tausha Haight or Gail Earl had a chance to defend their family, they would have been able to use the guns, she said.

“They could have because they had the skills to do it,” she said.

Matt Munson, the attorney representing Mr. Haight’s family, did not immediately respond to questions about the firearms in the home.

The family revealed the information about the guns being removed in a statement issued Friday that also lamented the “unthinkable tragedy” and called on the media and public to refrain from using the shooting for any “advocacy of political agendas.”

“We would encourage reporting about the value of all human life, the great works of God that can render a forgiving heart, how religion can heal and enlarge our capacity for love, and a return to foundational principles of peace within our nation,” the Earl family wrote.

Enoch officials have said they are aware of the divorce filing but don’t know if that was the motive in the killings.

Enoch Police Chief Jackson Ames also said this week that officers investigated the 42-year-old man and his family a “couple of years prior,” suggesting possible earlier problems inside the household, but he would not elaborate.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

The Weber County Sheriff’s Office says it’s shortening response times by letting deputies hear ...
Mike Anderson

Allowing deputies to hear 911 calls is saving lives in Weber County

The Weber County Sheriff’s Office says they're the first agency in Utah to use Live 911, a way for deputies to hear 911 calls.
11 hours ago
Salt Lake City Police arrested a 31-year-old man Monday morning after he allegedly threatened anoth...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City police arrest man after road rage incident, involving a gun

A 31-year-old man was arrested early Monday morning following a road rage incident. Police say the suspect allegedly threatened another person with a gun.
1 day ago
balloons...
By Natasha Bertrand and Haley Britzky, CNN

Pentagon says it had ‘an awareness gap’ that led to failure to detect 3 Chinese balloons under Trump

The American military had a "domain awareness gap" that allowed 3 other suspected Chinese spy balloons to transit the United States undetected
1 day ago
Two employees were pronounced dead after being reported unconscious at the Northrop Grumman Space ...
Waverly Golden

GoFundMe created for passing of two employees at Northrop Grumman

Two employees were pronounced dead after being reported unconscious at the Northrop Grumman Space Systems on Jan. 30, just after 6 p.m.
1 day ago
GOSHEN, CA - JANUARY 16: Tulare County Sheriff crime unit investigates the scene where six people, ...
Cheri Mossburg, CNN

2 arrested in central California shooting that left 6 dead, including mother clutching 10-month-old son

Originally Published: 03 FEB 23 16:30 ET Updated: 05 FEB 23 22:44 ET     (CNN) — Two suspects were taken into custody, one after a shootout, in a “cartel-style” massacre last month that left six people dead in central California, including a young mother and her 10-month-old son, authorities announced Friday. The suspects, identified in charging […]
1 day ago
little cottonwood canyon pictured, avalanche risk there is high...
Devin Oldroyd

Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier is dead after "tumbling a significant distance," according to the Unified Police Department. The incident occurred near Lisa Falls.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Family of slain Utah family says husband took guns from home