GRANTSVILLE, Utah, Jan. 18, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Of the four people shot dead on Friday in Grantsville, three were children, and are believed to have been siblings, police have confirmed.
Grantsville Police Cpl. Rhonda Fields told Gephardt Daily that all shot are believed to be members of the same family, but she said police will not confirm that fact until victim identities are formally released. That information could be released on Saturday.
A fifth victim, an adult male, sustained gunshot wounds and is in stable condition at an area hospital. Fields said at the scene that the suspect, a teenage minor, accompanied the surviving victim to the hospital.
The woman and children who died were found in a residence on Eastmoor Drive, near Main Street in Grantsville, Fields told reporters. Police were dispatched to the scene just after 7 p.m. Friday.
Fields confirmed to Gephardt Daily on Saturday that the young suspect is in custody at a juvenile detention facility.
Community members have posted on a local social media page, offering their prayers for surviving members of the family.
One family member posted Friday night that he was concerned he could not get in contact with relatives at the Grantsville residence. Friends and neighbors posted messages of love, prayers and support. Several urged the poster to call dispatch, to tell operators his name, and to ask for news.
A few hours later, the poster said he was at the hospital with the surviving victim.
Grantsville Mayor Brent Marshall spoke to reporters near the shooting scene, confirming those involved were members of a single family.
“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,” Marshall said. “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.”
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert tweeted about the mass shooting at 10:30 p.m. Friday.
“Our hearts are broken by the horrible news coming out Grantsville tonight. We mourn over the loss of innocent lives,” Herbert wrote in the first of three brief tweets.
“Our Department of Public Safety and State Crime Lab are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation,” his second tweet said. “Additional information will be released by local authorities as it becomes available.”
Herbert’s third tweet touched on the familial element of the shooting.