Man Kills Son, 6, Wife and Ex in Murder-Suicide: 'I Had a Perfect Life, and Now It’s All Screwed Up'
Police were summoned to the Astoria, Queens, apartment of James Shields Monday night and found four bodies
On Monday night, a 39-year-old New York City man committed suicide shortly after fatally shooting his wife, ex-wife and 6-year-old son, and NYPD sources confirm to PEOPLE a bitter custody battle may have been behind the violence.
At about 9 p.m., police were summoned to the Astoria, Queens, apartment of James Shields after neighbors heard several gunshots.
Inside the apartment, police found Shields dead from a pair of self-inflicted injuries: NYPD sources say he cut his own throat and shot himself.
Deeper into the apartment, they found the bodies of his wife, 38-year-old Saskia Shields, his ex-wife, 47-year-old Linda Olthof, and their son, James Jr.
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All were shot to death, sources confirm.
A note was found at the scene, according to sources.
The sources confirm the note read, “I had a perfect life, and now it’s all screwed up.”
Olthof and James Jr. were visiting Shields from the Netherlands, where they were living, the sources say.
Shields had set up a GoFundMe page in his efforts to spend time with his son, but the page has since been taken down.
“My beautiful son is 6 years old and my ex wife lives in the Netherlands. We were married and because she couldn’t find work as an artist ran back home to Holland after she was pregnant with my son devastating me,” the page read.
No one donated to Shields’ cause.