Dad Suspected in Astoria Murder-Suicide Had At-Home Arsenal

Associated Press

Police say the suspect in a New York City murder-suicide was armed with a pair of pistols and seven extra magazines loaded with about 70 more rounds.

The NYPD says 39-year-old James Shields shot himself Monday night in his Astoria apartment after fatally shooting his wife, ex-wife Linda Olthof and 6-year-old son Giacomo James.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Tuesday that evidence indicated Shields was in a bitter custody dispute with Olthof, who was raising Giacomo in the Netherlands.

Shea said Olthof and Giacomo arrived in New York on July 21 for a visit with Shields, a physical therapist.

Shields had previously ranted online that the dispute had sent his life spiraling “out of control” and said the arrangement was something “I just can’t accept as a father.”

Shea said a building caretaker called 911 and that Shields had a permit to have guns in the home.

Shields’ father told reporters Tuesday that his son was in a bitter custody dispute. James Shields Sr. said his son’s ex-wife was getting ready to take Giacomo James back to the Netherlands next week.

James Shields Jr. posted on GoFundMe in April under the subject “Child Kidnapping” that his Dutch artist ex-wife only wanted the boy to visit his father in the U.S. two weeks a year.