James Shields is the Queens man who is accused of shooting dead three people, including a young child, in a murder-suicide. Shields, 39, was first named as the perpetrator of the July 30 attack in a report by New York One. The station id’d Shields after speaking to his father, who should up at the scene of the killings at 23-07 30th Drive. Shields’ father, James Shields Sr., said that the gunman had been in a custody battle. A neighbor is quoted in the report as saying, “I’ve been around here 60 years and it’s always been good, but lately, the past few years it’s been going downhill. We need more protection around here.” Another neighbor, identified as a Sharon, told the New York Post, “This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this around here. I didn’t hear any gunshots… This is crazy.” The victims were Shields, two adult women, one, his ex-wife, 47, the other, his current wife, 38, and one child, 6.
The 911 call was made by a 47-year-old housekeeper at around 9 p.m., according to ABC New York.
According to his Facebook page, Shields is from New York City and is the founder of SCORE Rehab. Shields says he founded the business in 2010. On his LinkedIn profile, Shields says that he is an “Experienced Owner with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. Skilled in Stroke Rehabilitation, Sales, Spine, Fitness Training, and Neurorehabilitation. Strong entrepreneurship professional graduated from Hunter College.”
1. The Mother of Shields’ Child Had Been Planning to Take Her to the Netherlands This Week
James Shields Sr. told the New York Post that his son was a “good boy” and that his grandson was “a beautiful boy.” Shields Sr. said that his grandson’s mother was planning to take the child back to the Netherlands this week. ABC New York reports that the child was in New York visiting Shields. Eventually, Shields’ Sr. told the Post, “I just want to be left alone.” The report says that Shields Sr. was led away by the NYPD. The suspect’s father was quoted by ABC New York as saying his son “never talked to me much. He kept everything a secret.”
In April 2018, Shields set up a Go Fund Me page titled, “Child Kidnapping!” The page details Shields’ struggling with the fact that his son lives in the Netherlands with his Dutch mother. Shields says that he married the woman when she became pregnant to prevent her from going back to the Netherlands after she failed to find work as an artist in the U.S. Shields also mentions that he remarried a different Dutch woman after divorcing his son’s mother. He refers to his second wife as a “loving and supportive person.” The goal of the page is $30,000. At the time of writing it has received zero donations. The page in full read:
This is very embarrassing for me to be writing in this public forum, but my back is against the wall and I have no where else to turn.
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. I’ve been spending a fortune to travel there as much as I could when he was a baby. Now that he’s older he expressed he wanted to spend time in the US. This was at the same point I was getting remarried to another Dutch woman who is such a loving and supportive person. Due to my ex’s extreme jealousy and bitterness she is dragging me through court case after court case to be spiteful. In the Netherlands, the government pays for all legal expenses, so she’s enjoying this as it drags on and on ruining me.
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. My own lawyer is discriminating against me not advocating for my rights as a father. I’m in the process of finding a new one, but this is going to cost me more money which I just don’t have. The financial stress of this is destroying my current marriage and life….
How do I choose betwee. financially ruining my current relationship vs giving up the battle for my son?
I had the perfect life a few years ago but it has spiraled out of control and I desperately need any help you can provide. You can email me and or speak on the phone with me anytime for further details. Any advice also would be greatly appreciated.
2. Shields’ Throat Was Slashed in Addition to Him Being Shot
The four bodies were found in the living room of an apartment on the first floor of the apartment building. The New York Post reports that Shields was found in the doorway of the apartment with a gunshot wound and his throat was slashed. The Post describes the gun that was sued as a “dark semi-automatic handgun.” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea had said on the night of the murders that it was likely to have been a triple murder and suicide.
3. One Neighbor Said Yelling Could Often Be Heard Coming from the Apartment
Speaking to the media, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said that police had been called to the building before but stressed that the investigation was in its “preliminary” stages. Speaking to the New York Daily News, a neighbor, Ellie Alvarado said that yelling could frequently be heard coming from the apartment, “It would seem like it was a frequent thing. Different times a day, there was some kind of yelling coming from the apartment.” An NYPD source confirmed to the Daily News that police had been called to the home in 2017 over reports about a domestic disturbance.
4. Shields Referred to His Patients as ‘National Treasures’
In an interview on SCORE Rehab’s official website, Shields is asked about what he likes about working with patients. He says, “In my eyes, our patients are all national treasures. They have lived through some of our countries hardest eras such as WWI & II, The Great Depression, even the leisure suit era (God bless the 70s). They all come from various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious groups, which when put all together show us how diversity has enriched the quality of our country.” When asked about his personal interests, Shields says, “In my free time I enjoy traveling to new and exotic locations. I consider myself to be a “wannabe anthropologist”. I enjoy exploring and learning about different cultures. I guess this is a secondary reason why I became a house call therapist. I enjoy listening to the life stories of our diverse patient population. Other interests include reading, music, art, exercising, nutrition, and sports.”
Online records show that the business is based out of Shields’ home on 2307 30th Drive in Astoria. Shields explained how he got involved in physical therapy saying, “I chose to become a physical therapist at 16 years old when I volunteered at Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home. I witnessed first hand how therapy improved the quality of life of patients with various mental, physical, and neurological conditions. I consider myself very fortunate to have graduated from Hunter College’s Physical Therapy program with a Masters degree. Before starting Score Rehab I worked in acute, subacute, and orthopedic settings.”
5. Murder Suicides Account for as Many as 1,500 Deaths in the U.S. Per Year
There is no national tracking for murder suicide statistics in the United States. The Violence Policy Center said in 2015 that there are between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths every year due to murder suicides. The center says that the vast majority of the perpetrators are males and that domestic violence is commonly a motivating factor. The Centers for Disease Control says that five percent of homicides are followed by a suicide every year.