Man Kills His 2 Children, Himself After 9-Hour Standoff

Associated Press

A man with a history of threatening his children killed himself and his young son and daughter Sunday after holding them hostage for nine hours, police said.

Joel Dennis Souza, 35, of Antioch had barricaded himself and his children in the master bedroom of his wife's home at 4:15 a.m.

His estranged wife, Jennifer Lee Souza, 34, apparently slipped out of the house and called police, saying her husband was armed and holding their two children hostage, police said.

Officers called in a SWAT team and a hostage negotiator who tried to talk Souza into coming out. At 1:15 p.m., officers heard shots and the SWAT team broke into the bedroom. They found Souza dead, authorities said.

Ambulances took the two children, 8-year-old Nicholas and 5-year-old Cherie, to local hospitals. Doctors pronounced them dead on arrival.

Sunday was not the first time Souza had threatened to harm his children, according to police. He kidnaped them on May 25 and threatened them, the release said. He returned the children unhurt two days later.

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