By Mark Hallum
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea has released the names of two out of four victims in an Astoria shooting massacre that left a young boy and three others dead.
Among the bodies in the Monday night spree were 6-year-old Giacomo James Shields and 47-year-old Linda Olthof, while the identities of the other two were still kept under wraps, according to police.
NYPD responded to reports of gunfire at 23-07 30th Drive at about 8:53 p.m. and found the victims who had all been shot. EMS declared all four dead at the scene, Shea said.
“The initial job was to respond to an aided case, a heavy bleeder. Upon entering the building, it’s an eight-unit dwelling, the officers were directed to a location on the first floor. Upon entering that location, they observed, in quick time, four individuals that were apparently the victims of gunshot wounds,” Shea said. “As you can see over my shoulder, the [crime scene unit] is still, in fact, working the scene, and that’s where we are right now; Very preliminary at this point in time.”
James Shield, the father of the 6-year-old boy, was among the dead, according to the New York Post, which reported he was discovered with a gun nearby.
The shooting is believed to have been prompted by a costly divorce. Shields was separated from his son by his ex-wife, Olthof, who was from the Netherlands and had taken the boy back to her home country when the couple split up.
The other woman declared dead at the scene may have been Shields’s new partner, Saskia Shields, according to the New York Post.
Shields started a GoFundMe titled “Child Kidnapping” in April, claiming to be raising money for lawyers’ fees, and in the About Sectiondescribed his relationship with his ex-wife, who he accused of aggravating the custody battle because of “jealousy and bitterness.” He said his new wife was a ‘loving and supportive person.”
“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. I’ve been spending a fortune to travel there as much as I could when he was a baby… Due to my ex’s extreme jealousy and bitterness she is dragging me through court case after court case to be spiteful,” Shields wrote. “She only wants my son to be in the US for 2 weeks a year, which I just can’t accept as a father. This is devastating my family and I. In Netherlands as they do here, fathers get shafted even if they do nothing wrong and this has been exacerbated because of the current US political climate.”
Shields said the custody battle was putting a strain on the marriage with his new wife, who was also Dutch, and forcing him to choose between his son and his current relationship.
Shields goal for the GoFundMe page was $30,000 and had not received any contributions, but has since been removed from the site.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall