GRANTSVILLE — Four members of a family are dead and a fifth is hospitalized after a shooting that rocked a tranquil, close-knit neighborhood.
Adding to the shock is that the suspected shooter is a member of the family. He was taken into custody by police. Early reports from police indicated the shooter was a teenager.
Grantsville Mayor Brent Marshall, who came to the scene to speak with responders late Friday night, confirmed the victims and the shooter are all related.
“It’s an unfortunate tragedy that has taken place here this evening,” said Marshall. “And I’m sure it will take days or even longer to try and piece together what brought all of this on and why it happened, if we ever get to know why it happened. It’s upsetting. This is normally a very quiet neighborhood, and any time you have children involved in something, it becomes very emotional, very fast.
“We appreciate everybody’s thoughts and support. We ask that you continue to pray for the family and for these officers who are trying to figure out what happened.”
Grantsville Police Cpl. Rhonda Fields told reporters “officers were dispatched to a residence tonight in regards to a suspected homicide. It has been determined that four are deceased, but five were actually shot.”
Police didn’t release the names of the victims or who was arrested shortly after police arrived at the home on Eastmoor Drive near Main Street just after 7 p.m. Friday.
Fields wasn’t sure what condition the sole survivor was in when he or she was transported to the hospital.
Police assured there is no threat to the public.
“The officers have quite a lot that they’re trying to do. Obviously, first things first, they’re trying to make notifications to family members so that they don’t find out through the media, so they can get proper notification, and then we’ll be able to release that information. We want to verify that no information is released before all family members are notified.”
Gov. Gary Herbert tweeted out condolences and support about 10:30 p.m.
“Our hearts are broken by the horrible news coming out of Grantsville tonight,” he said. “We mourn over the loss of innocent lives. Our Department of Public Safety and State Crime Lab are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation. Additional information will be released by local authorities as it becomes available.”
Our hearts are broken by the horrible news coming out Grantsville tonight. We mourn over the loss of innocent lives.— Gary R. Herbert (@GovHerbert) January 18, 2020
The governor continued, “Parents and grandparents, secure your firearms! Everyone, hug your loved ones tight. And remember love, not hate, will heal broken individuals and families.”
In addition to Marshall, Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer was on scene as police tried to piece together what happened in the home.
Fields said multiple agencies responded after neighbors heard gunshots, although she didn’t know if the call for help came from inside the house or from concerned neighbors.
“Out here in Tooele County we have really good working relationships with our neighboring agencies, and they all came out tonight, which is much appreciated,” she said.
She said regardless of where something happens in the close-knit county, agencies respond to help and support in any way they can.
“We always try to do our best to work with each other,” she said. “Because this is, especially for Grantsville, a large scene. It may be a small street and one residence, but it’s a large scene and a lot of things go into it. We, obviously, just want to make sure that we do everything that we’re required to do in letting families be notified and letting the community know what’s going on.”