Crime

Victims in Meridian shooting identified as gunman’s ex-wife, her new husband

Meridian Deputy Chief gives update on shooting/standoff

Meridian Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea offers updates on the shooting/standoff situation in the 4900 block of West Charles Street, near Black Cat Road and Cherry Lane.
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Meridian Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea offers updates on the shooting/standoff situation in the 4900 block of West Charles Street, near Black Cat Road and Cherry Lane.

The woman who was fatally shot by her 39-year-old ex-husband on Sunday — her current spouse also was killed — had recently filed for a petition to modify their child support arrangement, court records show.

Boisean Edward Lynn Epps Jr. shot and killed Heidi De Leon, 40, and Jose De Leon, 47, before turning the gun on himself after a standoff at a home in the 4900 block of West Charles Street in Meridian, according to the Meridian Police Department and the Ada County Coroner’s Office. County records show that the three-bedroom home was owned by Jose De Leon.

Both of the De Leons died from multiple gunshot wounds, a press release Monday from the coroner’s office said, and Epps shot himself in the head.

Epps, who was armed with two handguns, forced his way into the De Leons’ home, according to details released by police Monday afternoon. He began firing at the couple, and Jose tried to stop him while Heidi ran toward the back of the house. After shooting Jose multiple times, Epps forced his way into a back bedroom and shot Heidi multiple times, Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said in a news release. Jose died in the hallway.

Heidi De Leon filed for divorce from Edward Epps in 2011, according to Ada County court records. They were married in 2000, and the couple had two children together, according to a judgment issued in 2015 regarding their shared child custody. Those children, both girls, are now 10 and 13, police said Monday, and both were in the house Sunday.

Jose De Leon’s daughter, age 11, also was in the house when Epps broke in at about 3 p.m. Sunday.

The 13-year-old was able to escape and run to a neighbor’s home to get help. Epps held the younger girls hostage but let each go separately through police negotiations, Basterrechea said Sunday.

Epps and Heidi De Leon were set to appear in court this month after a petition to change their child support agreement had been filed toward the end of last year. That document was not public record. On Monday, a petition to dismiss the case had been filed, according to online records — a common practice after the parties are deceased.

A copy of the petition for divorce filed by Heidi De Leon in 2011, cited “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce.

Epps had no apparent criminal history in Idaho, outside of traffic infractions.

The Sunday 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. It wasn’t the only recent case of fatal domestic violence in Meridian, though. In November, a married couple was found dead in what police called a murder-suicide. The woman had filed for divorce the week prior to the shooting.

Need help?

The local Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 208-343-7025 through the Boise Women’s and Children’s Alliance.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.

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