Man makes first appearance in deadly contracting dispute shooting

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Cobb County authorities expect to file upgraded charges against a homeowner after he allegedly shot and killed one worker and wounded another at his home.

Larry Joel Epstein, a 68-year old homeowner accused of shooting two contractors at his Cobb County home, appeared before a judge Thursday night. Epstein said little as the judge read the four felony charges against him. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault (with intent to murder) and two counts of aggravated battery.

Epstein shot 21-year-old Jake Horne and 37-year-old Gordon Montcalm Jr. Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning police learned Horne died from his injuries. Police said the charges against Epstein will likely be upgraded to include murder.

"Our Crimes Against Persons detectives are working with the [Cobb County] District Attorney to make more appropriate charges now since Mr. Horne is deceased," said Cobb County Police Officer Neil Penirelli.

FOX 5 News also learned late Thursday evening that the other man who was shot, Gordon Montcalm, has been released from the hospital.  His family said he still has a long recovery, but at least he is home.

Police investigators returned to the home Thursday to go over the scene and gather evidence.

Police did not immediately say what may have sparked the shootings.

Horne’s aunt, Lisa Godsey, told FOX 5’s Patty Pan the big plans and dreams of her nephew have been shattered because of the shooting.

In a FaceTime interview, Godsey said about her nephew, “He was trustworthy, hard-working, he was fun to be around. He was a kind, loving soul. He would do anything for anyone.”

Family members set up a GoFundMe page Thursday to support the dead man’s immediate family with the hashtag “#JUSTICEFORJAKEHORNE."

The posting reads, “This can't be more of a tragedy to my family and his friends Jake was one of a kind he was funny, he was caring, very well-liked by everyone he came in contact with, loving hard-working and very smart. Jake and his sister Sadie have been through so much in the past few years losing both of their parents forcing both of them to struggle with the aftermath and just to survive. He had big plans of making it in this world. My children and Jake and Sadie we're all best of friends I never in my life have seen my boys cry the way that they have since hearing of this bad news please if there is anything anyone can donate to help with the cost a funeral expenses and other things to help it would be a blessing. Thank you in advance and may God bless each and every one of you and I pray that no tragedy such as this comes to anyone.”

Jake’s aunt added, “I don’t understand why a man could do something like that to take a young boy’s life. Why he chose to do that, I have no idea.”

RELATED: Police: Homeowner arrested after shooting two contract workers