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A teenage boy in Utah is believed to have gunned down four family members in their home on Friday, including a mother and three of her children.
On January 20, Police in Granstville, a small city about 35 miles west of Salt Lake City, identified the victims of the fatal shooting as 52-year-old Consuelo Alejandra Haynie and her children, Alexis Haynie, 17, Matthew Haynie, 15, and Maylan Haynie, 12.
Colin Haynie Sr., the children’s 50-year-old father, was also wounded but survived the incident, authorities stated.
The unidentified youth has been charged with four counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, and multiple firearm charges.
Police were tipped off to the shooting around 7 p.m. on Jan. 17. A person known to the family is believed to have transported the teen shooter and injured father to Mountain West Medical Center. Once police arrived at the Haynie home, they found the bodies of Consuelo Haynie and her three children.
Police declined to release the identity of the alleged shooter and didn’t specify his exact relationship to the family, other than stating they suspected he was directly related to the victims.
“It is believed that he is a part of that same family, though without releasing his formal identification, there is no formal relationship,” Corporal Rhonda Fields said during a press conference on Monday.
Police said the suspected shooter “surrendered peacefully” at a local hospital shortly after the shooting. Fields stated he was uninjured and isn’t currently cooperating with detectives.
“He’s refused to speak,” Fields added.
Authorities also didn’t disclose the age of the alleged shooter, what type of gun was used, how he obtained the firearm, or how many shots were fired. Fields explained investigators currently have “zero motive” as to what led to the domestic shooting.
“That’s the biggest question simply because law enforcement hasn’t had any interactions with this family previously so we don’t have anything to go off of,” Fields told Oxygen.com. “There’s been no information as far as there were threats made. So investigations is working from the ground up, trying to develop some of the answers to that question.”
The Utah police corporal added that the quadruple killing has rocked Grantsville, a tiny city of roughly 11,000 where “everyone knows everyone.” The police spokesperson noted the quadruple murder was the city’s first homicide in 20 years.
“We haven’t had anything of this magnitude since 2001,” Fields said. “This is the biggest crime of this nature that has occurred here in Grantsville’s history. It’s very devastating to the community being that the alleged perpetrator is a juvenile and did come from inside the home.”
Since the quadruple murder, the community has raised nearly $100,000 for the family online. And on Monday, Grantsville held a candlelit vigil to support the surviving members of the Haynie family.
“It speaks volumes about who this family was and how well they were loved in our community,” Patty Deakin-Daley, 52, told Oxygen.com.
Deakin-Daley, a local realtor and community advocate who organized the vigil, estimated that 1,000 people attended.
“I think it speaks to the level of tragedy that it was and it also speaks to the immense love, kindness, and generosity of our community," she said.
The 52-year-old explained the family’s children had all been homeschooled up until recently. She described the Haynie family as “close, kind, and uplifting.”
“It has been very hard to swallow,” Chelsea Rose Dorrance, another community member, told Oxygen.com.
The Haynie family, which has requested privacy in the aftermath of the lethal shooting, also released a statement at the vigil.
“Please know that as you mourn with us, we also mourn with you,” the family wrote. “The depth of sorrow we feel is matched only by the overwhelming outpouring of love we feel from the Granstville and surrounding communities. The amount of love, compassion, and consideration shown by churches, businesses and communities is deeply touching.”
Some in attendance of the vigil suggested the young shooter had been battling mental issues prior to the quadruple murder.
“My heart goes out to that poor young man who was in such a dark place,” family friend Diane Passey told ABC. “Some people have said he was lonely and needed a friend and to be loved. This may be an experience for all of us to learn from and to just be a little kinder.”
Officials said formal charges would be handed down against the youth this week.
“We plan on filing charges this afternoon,” Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead told Oxygen.com on Wednesday.
Broadhead also confirmed the juvenile will be tried as an adult, explaining that in Utah, teens 16 years or older who are accused of murder are automatically tried as adults.
The teen could face life in prison without parole if convicted.
The unidentified youth, who is currently being housed in a juvenile detention facility in Salt Lake City, appeared in court for a detention hearing on Tuesday. He’s expected to be transferred to a county jail after formal charges are filed.
Funeral services for the Haynie family will be held on Friday in Grantsville, officials said.
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