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Ex-husband kills couple in Meridian homicides/suicide

Edward Epps Jr. forced his way into the residence and shot Jose and Heidi Deleon with a handgun, killing them, according to police. The children were released safely.
Posted at 3:20 PM, Jan 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 19:22:40-05

MERIDIAN, ID — UPDATE:

It was a somber scene in Meridian Monday as clean-up crews removed home items involved in yesterday's blood bath. Meridian Police tell us the suspect, 39-year-old Edward Epps Jr., fatally shot two adults -- his ex-wife and her current spouse-- before turning the gun on himself.

Police say they believe Epps forced his way into the residence armed with two handguns and began firing at Jose and Heidi Deleon.

47-year-old Jose -- who owned the home-- was the first to be shot, according to police.

"Jose attempted to confront him and stop him from harming the children or his wife and received multiple gunshot wounds-- ultimately dying in the hallway of the residence," said Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea, Meridian Police Department.

After 40-year-old Heidi suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder, she then ran to a bathroom to hide and call 911, police said.

"And he forced his way into that bathroom and shot her multiple times as well."

Meanwhile, Epps' 13-year-old daughter-- who he shared with Heidi-- escaped to a neighbor's house to call for help. But the suspect remained in the house with his 10-year-old daughter and her stepsister-- Jose's 11-year-old daughter. That's when officials from multiple agencies across the valley began negotiations.

"We used our crisis negotiators from the SWAT team and then Boise City brought their SWAT team in as well."

Thankfully, they were able to get the children out without physical harm.

"And then Epps took his own life with a gunshot wound to the head."

The motive? Well the investigation is still ongoing, but online records say Heiidi Deleon and Edward Epps-- who divorced in 2011-- had a court date regarding child support at the end of the month.

Police say the three children are now staying with other family members.

"It is really going to be very key for the families to rally around the kids and take care of those kids. They're going to need long-term counseling for sure."

If you ever find yourself in a dangerous or volatile situation, police say to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. You can also call the Women and Children's Alliance's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (208) 343-7025.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Meridian police say two adult victims and a suspect are dead after a shooting and standoff in a Meridian subdivision.

Police say the shooting happened when the suspect, a 39-year-old man, arrived at the victims' home and began to fight with the two adults. He then shot them both with a handgun.

After a four-hour standoff police were able to enter the home and found both adults, a 47-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, deceased.

A 13-year-old girl escaped and ran to a neighbor's house for help, but the suspect stayed in the house with an 11-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl.

"We did have one juvenile female who had escaped from the residence and ran to a neighbors house and provided us with information," said Deputy Chief of Meridian Police Tracy Basterrechea.

During negotiations, both children were ultimately released unharmed.

"At this time all information indicates no physical injuries to the children. Obviously there is a psychological toll that has taken place here," said Basterrechea.

After releasing the hostages police say the suspect took his own life. Authorities say the suspect was known to the victims.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Police are responding to reports of a shooting in a Meridian subdivision off Black Cat Road, between West Cherry Lane and West Ustick Road.

Dispatchers say reports of the shooting came in around 3:00 Sunday afternoon. No word yet on the type of gun, or the nature of the shooting.

Police confirmed all parties involved are contained in a residence in the subdivision. One child was able to escape and run to a nearby home, but two children are still inside, with the presumed shooter, who is an adult male and known to the victims. There were two children inside the house, but one of them was released. Police are currently negotiating for the return of that female child. Police say there are two adult victims, one male and one female, but there is no word yet on their condition.

Police are attempting to negotiate, and contact has been off and on.

Police have pushed the perimeter back, and are asking the public avoid the area at this time.

Ada County Paramedics, Meridian Police, Boise Police, Garden City Police, and Idaho State Police are all on scene. Two armored vehicles are also on scene.

"At this time all information indicates no physical injuries to the children. Obviously there is a psychological toll that has taken place here."