COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A woman used a gun she stole from her parents to fatally shoot her two children, a woman at her estranged husband’s apartment complex and herself, authorities said.
Jessica Edens called her estranged husband once just before she shot their 5-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old son in the back of her Jeep and again just before she shot herself in the head in the locked, running vehicle on July 13, Pickens County Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said.
A custody dispute in Family Court a few days earlier upset Edens badly, Hashe said, citing text messages and other communications deputies found after the killings.
“Mrs. Edens developed a plan in the next couple of days that she felt would cause everlasting consequences for her husband, Benjamin Edens,” Hashe said in a statement Monday.
The first step was stealing a .40-calibur handgun from her parents’ home the day before the shooting while they were out of town, authorities said.
Around 5 p.m. July 13, Jessica Edens drove to the Greenville apartment complex where her estranged husband lived and shot and killed 28-year-old Meredith Rahme while she sat in her car in the parking garage, said Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller, who has said Benjamin Edens and Rahme worked together, but didn’t give other details about their relationship.
Jessica Edens’ children were in the Jeep when she killed Rahme and she immediately drove them 7 miles (11 kilometers) to Easley, where she killed them and made the phone calls to her estranged husband, Hashe said.
The details of those calls were not released, but just after the shooting, the police chief said officers were with someone who had talked to the killer and were working as quickly as they could to find the cellphone’s location and children who were “in harm’s way.”
Edens and her children were all killed with one gunshot to the head, Hashe said.
Both Rahme and Benjamin Edens called police in the days before the shooting. Rahme complained Jessica Edens was leaving…