Utah teen accused of killing a mom and three children expected to be tried as adult

GRANTSVILLE, Utah (KSTU/Tribune/CNN) - Official charges are likely to be filed Wednesday for a Utah teenager suspected of killing four people. He’s expected to be tried as an adult.

A family and three children were killed in their home in Grantsville, Utah on Friday. (Source: Family photos/KSTU/Tribune/CNN)

Authorities said they believe a teenage boy used a handgun to shoot a mother, father and three children. The mother and three kids didn’t survive.

Killed in the shooting were 52-year-old Consuelo Alejandra Haynie, 15-year-old Alexis, 14-year-old Matthew and 12-year-old Milan. The father, 50-year-old Colin Haynie, was shot but survived.

Police said the suspect is “believed to be part of that same family” but didn’t officially confirm that.

“It’s about as horrific of an event that you can imagine,” Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead said.

Friday is a day many in this community will never forget.

“It’s pretty hard to fathom that essentially almost the entire family is gone. Um, I, I can’t even imagine the position the father has been placed in,” Broadhead said.

Police in the Tooele County Attorney’s office are trying to figure out what led to this horrific crime, the deadliest shooting in Grantsville’s history.

“The police have told us forensically that they can kind of piece together how things happened. But we don’t have anything from him," Broadhead said. "So I don’t know the, how the why, what brought this on, what his mental state is today. There’s just a lot of questions and at this point, not a lot of answers.”

Broadhead is working with Grantsville Police to get some of those answers, but at this point he says, the suspect isn’t talking.

The suspect asked for an attorney after being arrested, so he hasn’t given police any clues as to why this happened.

“Right now we’re in the dark,” Broadhead said.

What we do know is this suspect is facing several charges and will be tried as an adult, even though he is a minor, Broadhead said.

“Under Utah state law, if you are 16 years of age or older and you have been charged with the crime of aggravated murder or murder, you automatically are part of the district court,” Broadhead said.

The only difference is that juveniles cannot face capital punishment. The maximum penalty the suspect could face for an aggravated murder charge would be life in prison without parole.

The community is in mourning and shock as they try to wrap their heads around this unthinkable tragedy.

“These are types of things you see on TV and some in other people’s jurisdiction. But, no, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Broadhead said.

A fundraiser was started for the Haynie family to cover funeral and other expenses.

Copyright 2020 KSTU, Tribune via CNN. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.