Eight people – five of them children – have been found dead from gunshot wounds at a home in southwestern Utah, authorities said.

The bodies were discovered when police officers carried out a welfare check at the property in the small town of Enoch.

There are no suspects at large or threats to the public, officials said in a statement, adding the investigation continues.

Enoch city manager Rob Dotson said the deceased – all members of one family – were well known in the town of about 8,000 residents.

Officials have not publicly identified the victims.

“Many of us have served with them in church, in the community and gone to school with these individuals,” Mr Dotson said in a video statement on Wednesday night.

“This community at this time is hurting. They’re feeling loss, they’re feeling pain and they have a lot of questions,” he said, noting that authorities planned to release more information as it becomes available.

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Welfare checks based on calls to the police like the one that led them to the residence are routine when individuals are not seen for extended periods of time, Mr Dotson added.

The five children attended schools in the Iron County School District, officials said in a letter sent to parents.

“It is with deep regret that we inform you about a tragic loss to our school community,” it said.

“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school district, especially our students.”

It added: “We are saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as needed.”

Utah Governor Spencer Cox offered condolences in a tweet on Wednesday night.

“Our hearts go out to all those affected by this senseless violence. Please keep the community of Enoch in your prayers,” he wrote.