US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have offered their condolences at the killings in a statement, calling it a “tragic shooting”. In a statement, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre reflected on the five children who were killed in the killings in Utah.
She said: “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.”
Writing on Twitter, Utah Governor Spencer Cox also offered his condolences to those affected by the “senseless violence”.
The family of eight were found dead at a property in Enoch City on Wednesday during a welfare check conducted by police.
According to officers, the deceased included a man, his wife, his five children and his mother-in-law.
City manager Rob Dotson said the small town of about 8,000 people was in shock.
At a news conference on Thursday, city officials revealed that 42-year-old Michael Haight shot his 40-year-old wife Tausha, his 78-year-old mother-in-law, Gail Earl, along with his five children, before taking his own life.
The five children were not named but included three girls, aged 17, 12 and seven, along with two boys, aged seven and four.
Mr Dotson said the bodies were discovered by police at around 4pm (11pm GMT) on Wednesday.
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Mr Chestnut revealed that the Haight family were his neighbours.
He said: “It’s not too often something like this hits very close to home.
“The youngest children played in my yard with my sons.”