Family, friends mourn Roy family found dead in apparent murder-suicide

Posted at 9:43 PM, Jun 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-24 10:30:15-04

ROY, Utah -- The community of Roy is mourning the loss of a family four, all found dead inside their house Sunday.

Tuesday, a crowd gathered outside the Smith family home to pay their respects.

"I was just here in the backyard two months ago for Blake's second birthday," said Karlie Dye, who worked with Shawna Smith at a Roy daycare center.

According to police, Russell Smith shot his wife Shawna, along with their two young children, Blake and Tylee, before shooting himself. The bodies were found by a family member after they failed to show up at a Father's Day event.

In the hours since the discovery, friends and co-workers rushed to organize a vigil, where dozens stopped by to drop off flowers and exchange memories.

"It's extremely difficult to grasp. It just isn't something that you ever would have thought would happen to them," said friend, Kelle Nielsen.

The Smiths had recently celebrated a wedding anniversary. According to family, they seemed happy and in love.

Shawna's mother, Sheila Pruitt, had spoken to her daughter earlier in the week, and there was never any indication they were having problems.

"We don't understand. We never will understand," Pruitt said. "I'm hurt. I'm hurt because I don't know that he felt like he could have come to any of us and I wish he could have."

A GoFundMe account has been setup to assist the family.