Man kills seven family members, shoots self after wife files for divorce

Man kills seven family members, shoots self after wife files for divorce
Crime scene tape.

​A middle-aged man killed his entire family of seven, then turned the gun on himself after his wife filed for divorce.

​​Michael Haight, a 42-year-old man from Utah, United States, allegedly killed his wife, and five children then shot himself dead in what authorities suspect could be a mental breakdown after his wife had initiated a divorce process.

The dead included a four-year-old, his wife, her mother, and five other children – three girls and two boys aged between four and 17.

The bodies were discovered last Wednesday by police after they were called by friends and relatives who were concerned for Haight’s family.

“Evidence suggests that the suspect took his own life after killing seven others in the home,” a statement from the city authorities.

“It appears, according to court documents, that (a divorce petition) was filed on the 21st of December and it was filed by the wife,” Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut told AFP.

Enoch is a rural city of around 7,500 people in the southwest of Utah. It sits about a three-and-a-half hours’ drive from Salt Lake City.

The state is known as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whose members are popularly known as Mormons, a conservative Christian sect that places a strong emphasis on family, but which historically encouraged polygamy.

Additional reporting by Elvince Joshua