Michael Haight 'purposely removed' firearms from home before killing family in suspected murder-suicide
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ENOCH, UTAH: Just days prior to the tragic incident which claimed eight lives of the family in a suspected murder-suicide, a Utah father had removed firearms from the house, leaving the family "exposed," a relative claimed on Friday. The father then shot his five children, mother-in-law, and wife before turning the pistol on himself.
His sister-in-law Jennie Earl said that Michael "Mike" Haight, 42, removed the firearms from the residence two weeks after his wife Tausha Haight, 40, announced her intention to seek a divorce. Earl said she was unsure of Tausha's feelings towards the confiscation of the firearms but claimed that it had left the family "exposed" as both Tausha and her mother Gail Earl, 78, had received personal defense and gun safety training.
Earl made her remarks following the family's statements grieving the tragedy and indicating that guns had been taken out. "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 on Friday, as reported by the Daily Mail. The information sheds more light on what transpired in the days before a shooting in a residence in Enoch hamlet in southern Utah on December 21. Tausha Haight and Micheal Haight had been married for 16 years.
The victims were discovered on Wednesday during a welfare check by the police at the home. The children were identified as two sons, who were 4 and 7 years old, and three daughters, who were 17, 12, and 7. Online records reveal that Michael Haight operated a financial services company out of the family's residence on North Albert Drive in Enoch while also working as an insurance salesman for Allstate, the report mentioned. Tausha's mother Gail Earl, 78, was also killed in the massacre, and her husband Boyd died in 2020.
Investigators are still trying to put pieces together to determine what actually transpired inside the house and if those firearms could have helped them in defending themselves. Jennie Earl told Associated Press, "However, if either Tausha Haight or Gail Earl had a chance to defend their family, they would have been able to use the guns. They could have because they had the skills to do it."