MERIDIAN, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say a Boise man who shot and killed his ex-wife and her husband and then held two children hostage before shooting himself was expected in court later this month for a child custody issue.
The Ada County coroner's office identified the shooter as Edward Lynn Epps Jr. of Boise. Police say he shot Heidi De Leon and her husband Jose De Leon after forcing his way into the De Leons' home on Sunday afternoon.
Meridian Police say Epps was armed with two handguns when he attacked the family, shooting Jose De Leon multiple times as De Leon tried to stop him from following Heidi. Epps then forced his way into a back bedroom, where he shot Heidi De Leon multiple times.
The woman had filed for divorce from Epps in 2011, according to Ada County court records. They had two children together — a 13-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl — and De Leon had recently filed a petition to modify their child support arrangement.
Both girls were at the home when Epps arrived, along with Jose De Leon's 11-year-old daughter.
During the attack the 13-year-old girl managed to escape the home and run for help. Epps held the other girls hostage for a time before police convinced him to release the children during a three-hour standoff.
The shootings marked the first domestic murder-suicide of 2019 in Idaho, according to Kelly Miller, executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. The state experienced 17 intimate partner murder-suicide-related deaths from January to November of 2018. That's compared to 17 in 2017, 10 in 2016 and six in 2015.