KEY POINTS

  • A Utah couple was shot to death in their home while fighting off an intruder 
  • Their children were sleeping upstairs while they were attacked 
  • A suspect has been named in relation to the attack 

A Utah husband and wife — both in their early 30s — were fatally shot by a home intruder after trying to fight him off while their three children were asleep upstairs. The deadly and tragic attack took place last Saturday (April 18) at the couple’s residence in West Jordan.

Oxygen reports that Tony, 31, and Katherine Butterfield, 30 were found dead when police arrived on the scene. Tony's body was in the backyard and Katherine's was right inside the home's doorway. The couple was described as the “loving” parents of three children who are four years, two years and and six months in age — all of them were upstairs sleeping while their parents were being killed.

“It looks like there was probably some kind of altercation that happened right there," said West Jordan police spokesman Sgt. J.C. Holt, referring to the home, adding that the intruder apparently rummaged through the home but it’s unclear if any belongings were stolen. There were signs of forced entry.

The family of the slain couple, who says they already forgave the assailant and pray for them and their families, issued a statement. “The families of Tony and Katherine C. Butterfield are devastated by the sudden passing of their loved ones,” the grieving family members wrote. “Tony and Katherine were incredible Christ-like, kind, happy, and loving parents, children, siblings and friends.”

As the Butterfields and their community continue to reel from the horrific attack, for which a clear motive has yet to be established, police issued a statement saying, “We are working hard to bring resolution to this case.”

At a press conferene on Monday, West Jordan Police said 31-year-old Albert Enoch Johnson is wanted for questioning in the double homicide investigation. They are asking for help from the public in locating Johnson, so he can brought in for questioning. 

Based on FBI crime data, West Jordan is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to Utah, West Jordan has a crime rate that is higher than 88% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes. While crime has fallen in recent years, property offenses and sexual assault remain dominant issues in the town.