Central • For living in a small town, people in this southwest Utah community don't know each other well.
Randy and Nancy Cardinal said they didn't even know the names of the people living up the hill and on the other side of their fence. But sometime about noon Thursday, Randy Cardinal saw a black truck drive up some private property and stop at the house on 176 E. Valley View Road.
Ten to 15 minutes later, he heard a gunshot.
"But we heard no hollering," he said. "No noise."
Sometime later, three people were found dead inside the house on Valley View Road. Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said the case appears to be a murder-suicide.
Pulsipher identified the dead only as 24-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman and a girl of elementary-school age.
An attorney confirmed the dead man is Landon Jorgensen. Attorney Jay Winward said the family was requesting privacy. "The family doesn't have a comment at this time," he said.
The website southernutahtactical.com says Jorgensen was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a firearms instructor in Utah.
A search of court records shows Jorgensen was never charged with a crime in Utah. Pulsipher says he was not aware of any prior police calls to the house on Valley View Road.
Pulispher would not say which of the three is suspected of pulling the trigger. Asked by reporters about a motive for the shootings, Pulsipher said: "We're still just trying to figure it out."
Pulsipher said a family member found the shooting victims inside the single-story ranch-style home. Property records indicate the dead woman's family also lives in Central.
Pulsipher said the man and woman had been in a "domestic relationship," had been living in the home since May 2011 and some of the deceased were from Pennsylvania.
In Central, the lots are big. Hills and pinion and juniper trees create natural barriers to keep neighbors from visiting. And the 613 residents are a mix of retirees and people who work 26 miles away, in St. George, said Bruce Jones, one of the residents.
Jones lives an eighth of a mile away from where Jorgensen and the others died. Jones said he was home Thursday, but didn't hear any gunfire or other sounds of trouble.
"We know a couple of people, but they're down the road a bit," Jones said.
In a profile on his blog, Jorgensen said he was a Marine veteran and was "medically discharged for my back issues." After the discharge, he wrote, Jorgensen became a firearms instructor.
"My passion is to teach people the correct way to use firearms so that they can be both safe and fun," he wrote. "My goal in life is to own a gun store with shooting range attached."