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Public details about the shooting death of three people following a hostage situation in a Meridian home Sunday are still sparse, but the incident, in which police say a shooter killed two people and then himself, adds to a growing number of murder-suicides in the Treasure Valley within the last year.

Sunday’s incident took place about 3 p.m. in the 4900 block of Charles Avenue. Officers responded to a report of gunshots, and when they arrived they found a 39-year-old man holding hostage two girls — one 10 years old and one 11 years old — inside the home. Officers say he’d already shot and killed two adults, a 40-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man, inside the home by that point. During a standoff, police negotiated the release of the children, but the man, who has not been identified, killed himself.

It was at least the fifth murder-suicide in the Treasure Valley since March — and the third in Meridian. In November, Meridian police investigated the death of a 69-year-old woman who was shot and killed by a 71-year-old man outside a home. The man shot himself after killing the woman, according to the Meridian Police Department.

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That was fewer than six months after another shooting incident police deemed a murder-suicide in the 2200 block of Meridian’s Horse Creek Road in July. During that incident, police believe, Daniel “Sky” Cobb, 46, shot and killed his girlfriend, Crystal Wilson, 36, before he killed himself.

And those incidents bear resemblance to other shootings in Canyon County. In May, for instance, Ian S. Stone, 37, shot and killed Jacyln Zabel, 29, in Caldwell before he also shot and killed himself, according to the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office. Then in September a Nampa couple, Philip Butler, 29, and Kaylynn Butler, 27, were found dead in their home in what police ruled a murder-suicide. Both died of gunshot wounds.

After Sunday’s incident, 11 Treasure Valley residents have died of murder-suicides in the past year.

Tommy Simmons is the Ada County public safety reporter for the Idaho Press. Follow him on Twitter @tsimmonsipt

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