The family of 8 were discovered during a welfare check inside a rural home in Enoch City, Utah--about halfway between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

At a news conference on Thursday, city officials said Michael Haight, 42,  opened fire on his wife, 40-year-old Tausha, his 78-year-old mother-in-law Gail Earl, and his five children before he killed himself.

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The five children include three girls, 17, 12 and 7, and two boys, 7 and 4.

City manager Rob Dotson said the town of about 8,000 people was in shock, per the Associated Press.
Enoch City manager Rob Dotson said their bodies had been discovered by police on Wednesday, after someone reported that the wife had missed a scheduled appointment.

Dotson said each of the victims appeared to have been shot.

Officials also confirmed that the wife had filed for divorce on 21 December.

"Tausha was the most kind and generous person and she never ever said anything ill about anyone," Tina Brown, a friend of the family, told KSTU-TV. "She would give the shirt off of her back for anyone and she served people tirelessly."

"It's not too often something like this hits very close to home," Mayor Jeffrey Chestnut said, adding that the Haight family had been his neighbours.

"The youngest children played in my yard with my sons," he said.

The five children attended four schools across the Iron County School District, which released a statement expressing its sorrow.

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