Daily Herald, Spencer Heaps / AP
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 | 9:38 a.m.
SPANISH FORK, Utah — Family and friends say they are stunned a Utah police officer shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law and two young children before turning the gun on himself days ago.
Those close to Joshua and Kelly Boren said they knew the couple had been having marital problems but never thought he was capable of such a violent act. They spoke at a vigil Saturday night in Spanish Fork, a city of about 36,000 people located 9 miles south of Provo, home of Brigham Young University. They were unsure of the events leading up to the shooting.
"Everybody says how horrible my uncle was," Ashley Ohran, 17, Joshua Boren's niece told the Deseret News. "That's the thing, my uncle was the best person ever. He was a great guy.
"Nobody knew that this was coming. Nobody was expecting this to happen from him," she added.
Spanish Fork police say the 34-year-old officer of the Lindon Police Department shot his wife, 32; his mother-in-law, Marie King, 55; and his two children, Joshua "Jaden" Boren, 7, and Haley Boren, 5, before killing himself. They were found dead in their home late Thursday night, and police are still investigating a motive. The Lindon department counts about 15 uniformed officers and patrols a city of about 10,000.
More than 100 people packed a Gold's Gym to remember and share stories of the family, the newspaper reported. Kelly Boren was a fitness fanatic who worked out there. She and her husband often socialized and went hiking with a group of 10 close friends.
RiRi Whiting, Kelly Boren's close friend and a vigil organizer, said she never saw a temper in Joshua Boren and thought he was a good father. Now, she says she's overwhelmed with anger.
"It's a super selfish act," Whiting said. "I don't know what state of mind a person can be in to do that, especially to children. When children are involved, it just makes me sick."
Friend James Bjerregaard also remembered Joshua Boren as a good father.
"Josh wasn't a bad guy. He was a gentle, personable guy," he said. "I think it's kind of too fresh to really know what my opinions and thoughts will be of him down the road."
Kelly Boren, who was finance director for the city of Bluffdale, was remembered as a sweet, funny woman dedicated to her family.
"She just had that smile that was contagious that I personally wanted to be around," friend Travis Young said. "You just don't forget somebody like that, that spirit, that aura, whatever you want to call it. That goodness about them."
Investigators did not find a suicide note or other message to explain the shooting.
A funeral for the family will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Lindquist Mortuary in Layton.