Brigham City Police investigating suspected murder-suicide

Posted at 7:29 PM, Sep 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-11 00:41:23-04

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah -- Brigham City Police are investigating what they say is an apparent murder-suicide, where a man shot and killed his stepdaughter and the family dog before turning the gun on himself Tuesday afternoon.

Lt. Michael Nelsen said Chrishell Woodruff discovered the body of her daughter, 16-year-old Alix Norman, when she arrived home at 545 North 100 East.

"She found her daughter in the basement," Nelsen said, "and of course she immediately called 911 and officers came up here."

Nelsen said the officers who discovered the body of the teen's stepfather, 45-year-old Michael Woodruff, in another room with a .40 caliber Glock handgun next to his body.

Officers then discovered the dog, also shot, in yet another room.

The home appears to be undergoing renovations on the ground floor, according to police, and the family was living in the basement where the bodies were found.

Family members, including Norman's father, couldn't believe what had happened.

"Everyone was in total shock. Of all the family members that were coming up here, they were just in total shock," Nelsen said. "They couldn't even believe something like this could possibly happen."

Nelsen said, according to the family, the stepfather and teen had a good relationship.

"The wife and the husband have had some problems, but to my knowledge, there hasn't been any domestic problems at all or anything like that," Nelsen said.

Nelsen said a neighbor heard two pops coming from the home around 4:30 in the afternoon, but assumed it was a nail gun, or construction-related.

"We're still investigating the whole scene," Nelsen said. "They're going through with a fine-toothed comb to make sure we don't leave anything uncovered, hopefully find some answers, but some of it may be left with them, too. It's hard to say whether we'll get the whole story."

The state examiner's office to will examine the bodies to determine the exact cause of death and for toxicology testing to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.