The tragic and senseless loss of multiple lives, caused by someone with a gun, always happens elsewhere. In other cities. Other states. Other countries. But not here.
Sadly and regrettably, that all changed for Tooele County last week. And we’ll never be the same.
As reported on today’s front page, a teenage male suspect is in custody for allegedly shooting to death four people in their Grantsville home Friday night. Consuelo Alejanda Haynie, 52, Alexis Haynie, 15, Mathew Haynie, 14, and Maylan Haynie, 12, were allegedly killed by the suspect, according to the Grantsville City Police Department.
A fifth victim, who was taken to Mountain West Medical Center Friday night and has since been released, was identified as Colin Haynie, 50. Grantsville police have confirmed the four victims and the survivor are from the same family.
The teen suspect, who was also taken to the hospital with Colin Haynie by a third party that night, reportedly surrendered peacefully to police at the hospital. He was taken to the 3rd District Juvenile Youth Detention Center and booked on four charges of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder, and multiple counts of felony discharge of a firearm, according to Grantsville police.
Because the suspect is a juvenile, his identity is not being released by police until formal charges have been filed. Police also say the suspect refused to speak to detectives when he was arrested.
At press time today, so many questions about who, what, where, when and how of this shooting tragedy await formal answers from investigators. But the biggest question — why did it happen? — is what weighs heavily as we mourn and pray for the victims in Utah’s largest slaying since the Trolley Square mass shooting in February 2007.
It is hoped that answer will be forthcoming soon. Yet, whatever the reason, it likely won’t assuage the Haynie family’s suffering and loss, nor explain the incomprehensible brutality unleashed in their home. It also won’t allay or change that Grantsville — and the larger Tooele County community — has now become part of a growing list of communities across America where a mass shooting with multiple fatalities has occurred.
The shooting is still under investigation and more news stories about it will come forth. Healing will take time; forgiveness perhaps, even more so. But as we mourn, pray for the family, and try to make sense of this tragedy, perhaps Gov. Gary Herbert said it best after he learned about the shooting.
He Tweeted: “Our hearts are broken … We mourn over the loss of innocent lives. Parents and grandparents, secure your firearms! Everyone, hug your loved ones tight. And remember, love, not hate, will heal broken individuals and families.”
To the Haynie family, we offer our deepest prayers and condolences, and may you let this generous community wrap you in loving care as you grieve and begin your journey to heal. And let us remember that love, not hate, will heal a heartbroken community as it struggles to make sense of this tragedy.