Eight family members, five of them children, were found dead from gunshot wounds in a southern Utah home, according to authorities, who did not provide a possible motive for the killings. The victims were found Wednesday when police did a welfare check at the residence, according to officials in Enoch, a town of about 8,000 located 245 miles south of Salt Lake City. Police said they did not detect any threat to the public, according to Associated Press. Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson said the community was sent reeling by news of the eight bodies and that the deceased — all members of one family — were well known in the southern Utah town. “Many of us have served with them in church, in the community, and gone to school with these individuals,” Dotson said in a video statement Wednesday night. “This community at this time is hurting. They’re feeling loss, they’re feeling pain and they have a lot of questions,” Dotson added.
Welfare checks based on calls to the police department like the one that led them to the residence where the bodies were found are routine when individuals are not seen for extended periods of time, Dotson said. One neighbor told local station KSL that the family was active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Several news outlets reported that neighbors said the father worked as an insurance agent, reports Vice. The Iron County School District confirmed that all of the children who died attended schools in the district. “Eight members of a family residing in Enoch with five students in our schools tragically passed away,” said a statement on the district’s website. “This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students.” Counselors from the district’s crisis intervention team will be on hand to help any students, parents, and school employees in the aftermath of the shooting.