City leaders in a small Utah town choked up this week as they expressed shock after a murder-suicide carried out by a fellow church member left eight people dead in their close-knit community, including five children who were classmates with their kids.
Though shocking, family mass killings are an all-too-common tragedy across the country. They’ve happened nearly every 3.5 weeks for the last two decades on average, according to a database compiled by USA Today, The Associated Press and Northeastern University.
Enoch, Utah, is one of more than 30 communities sent reeling by a family mass killing in the last two years, a list that includes communities of wealth and poverty and spares no race or class. A family mass killing — where four or more people were killed, not including the perpetrator — happened each of the last two years in places as large as Houston or as small as Casa Grande, Arizona, the database shows.
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