By SAM METZ
ENOCH, Utah (AP) — A southern Utah community was struggling for answers on Thursday after police found eight people from one family, including five children, shot to death in the small town of Enoch.
Police sent officers to check on them on Wednesday and found the family dead from gunshot wounds. Officials did not immediately say why they went to the home.
“At this time, we do not believe there is a threat to the public or that there are any suspects at large,” officials said in a press release, without providing details
Enoch is a small town of about 8,000 people located 245 miles (394 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City and about equally distant from Las Vegas.
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 town. Little was immediately released to the public about the family. In most of Utah, the predominant religion is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known widely as the Mormon church.
“Many of us have served with them in church, in the community and gone to school with these individuals,” Dotson said Wednesday night. “This community at this time is hurting. They’re feeling loss, they’re feeling pain and they have a lot of questions.”
“We all can pray that their families and the neighbors and all will come to an understanding of what happened in this place, probably in a day or two, or maybe longer,” he said.
The five children attended schools in the Iron County School District, officials said in a letter sent to parents.
Enoch, off Interstate 15 in rural Utah, just north of the city of Cedar City and about 80 miles (128 kilometers) west of Bryce Canyon National Park, had major flooding in 2021 that damaged hundreds of homes.
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