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A man who was accused of killing his estranged wife and critically wounding his daughter at a church parking lot in Cypress is dead after a standoff at a west Harris County hotel Friday morning, authorities said.
Deputies launched a manhunt for 62-year-old Arthur Edigin Thursday night after he fired into a car carrying his wife, Graciela Torres, 66; his daughter, Penny Edigin-Zapata, 31; and his 17-month-old grandchild.
He fled to the Extended Stay America hotel at 2424 West Sam Houston Parkway near Westheimer, where he had a room. Friday morning, he was found in the bathtub dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Sr. Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The SWAT scene came to a close after nearly six hours of attempting to negotiate with Edigin, said Gilliland.
After it became known that Edigin was in a fourth floor room of the hotel, deputies attempted to relocate civilians in the adjacent areas. As negotiations broke off and the SWAT scene stretched on, deputies and HFD officials attempted to move all guests out of the hotel.
“You have a very dangerous subject, and the most important thing was the citizens of the hotel,” Gilliland said.
During the negotiations, deputies broke through Edigin’s window to deploy gas canisters in the room, letting off some loud bangs. Some guests were treated for minor respiratory issues, Gilliland said.
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Deputies then released another round of gas into the room after. They last made contact with Edigin several hours before the conclusion of the standoff, but no significant progress was made in getting him to surrender, Gilliland said.
A robot entered the room at 6:50 a.m. and found Edigin deceased in the bathroom, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the sheriff’s office.
Hotel guest Tommy Armstead said he didn’t think much of it when deputies came to his bedroom and told him to evacuate. After about an hour of waiting outside during the standoff, he heard the suspect was wanted for murder and couldn’t believe it.
“The guy, he could have went crazy and shooting wildly,” Armstead said while sitting in a car outside the building.
Another guest, Don Thomas, said he was staying at the hotel while looking for a place to live in Houston, but might rethink that now.
“We might have to go back to the country somewhere,” Thomas said. “We’re not used to this at all.”
Desiree Hollander stepped outside in her bathrobe to walk her dog after the scene cleared. She woke up early this morning and turned on the news to see that the man sleeping just two doors down and a floor above was a suspected murderer.
Hollander said she heard pops, which caused her dog to start running in circles. She called the front desk, and they told her to stay put.
“I was afraid,” she said. “I was like, I hope he doesn’t start shooting because he was so close and I couldn’t get out.”
In Thursday night’s shooting, Edigin is accused of opening fire on his estranged wife and her adult daughter, who were in a car in a parking lot of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, at the 11500 block of Huffmeister Road. He fired possibly five to six gunshots, deputies said.
Torres died while her daughter is in critical condition at a hospital. They were coming to the church for ESL classes and had just arrived, the church said.
The wife and daughter were in the car with a 17-month-old child, which Gilliland referenced as Edigin’s grandchild.
“It shows you how heinous the crime was,” Gilliland said. “It kind of shows you the mindset of the person we’re deailng with.”
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