A relative of the Manchester man accused of fatally shooting himself and his wife on Saturday said that the married couple “adored each other” and that she was not aware of any domestic abuse taking place in their modest white home at 543 Prescott Road.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with a crack in their relationship,” said Staci Fowler of Gardiner, a great niece on the husband’s side of the family. “People always say you don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. This has nothing to do with hate or malice or bad feelings. … They loved each other so much.”

For most of Saturday, police closed that road after Clyde Shue, 82, allegedly called authorities to report that he had killed his wife of more than two decades, 62-year-old Kim Shue.

In the afternoon, a tactical team entered the home and discovered the husband’s body near the door, with a handgun at his side, and his wife’s body in her bed.

Police are investigating the apparent murder-suicide as an act of domestic violence, but they still haven’t determined what “sparked the violence,” Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday.

Fowler, whose grandmother was Clyde Shue’s sister, was allowed into their home on Saturday night and said there were no signs of an altercation or any letters that revealed what happened.

“Nothing was out of place,” she said. “There were brownies on the counter, with one brownie taken out.”

Fowler also wasn’t aware of either Clyde or Kim Shue having any serious health problems and didn’t know if the couple had made any kind of pact that would have led to the killings.

Kim Shue was recovering from a knee surgery, though, and Fowler also suspected that her great uncle might have suffered from dementia and depression.

“Everyone’s saying, ‘Was there some sort of pact? Was one of them ill?’” Fowler said. “There was no illness that I was aware of. Honestly, they were pretty private people. Both of them were pretty happy-go-lucky people. There was always a hug. Always a ‘Hi, how are you?’ He had an amazing sense of humor. They just got each other. … They truly had a relationship that people dream of.”

Kim Shue’s sister, Cindy Grimaldi, said she was not aware of any problems or health issues between them.

“I do pray that if there was any terminal sickness between them, that they had a pact to ‘go’ together,” Grimaldi said. “… She had every right to agree to do this out of their love for each other, and I pray this is the outcome of police findings.”

The couple had one cat and two Labrador retrievers, one black and one yellow, who weren’t harmed on Saturday and now are in Fowler’s care.

“Together, and separately, they were charismatic, smart, caring people with incredible senses of humor,” Grimaldi said.

While Fowler doesn’t think her great uncle was having an abusive relationship with his wife, her family is experiencing the grief and confusion that comes from such a loss.

“The whole family is confused,” she said. “Obviously, we’re upset and sad. We just don’t know. There are questions we’ll never know the answers to, but what we know is this was not who (Clyde Shue) was. This was not how we choose to remember him or her. This is totally out of the realm of anything anyone would have anticipated. We’re all devastated.”

Maynard Whitten, a Manchester native and former selectman, says he never met his neighbors, Clyde and Kim Shue. Their deaths, he says, “are a damn tragedy.” Staff photo by Andy Molloy

 

NOT WELL KNOWN

Neither of the Shues were from Maine originally.

They met in Florida while Kim Shue, a registered nurse, was working in a jail where Clyde was employed as a corrections worker, according to Fowler.

About 10 years ago, they moved to Manchester to be closer to the family of Clyde Shue’s sister.

Grimaldi said Kim Shue was originally from Nutley, New Jersey, and had two children, but not with Clyde Shue.

Multiple neighbors — many of whom were stuck at their homes or not able to return when police closed Prescott Road on Saturday — said they were not familiar with the couple.

“I never heard of ’em and never saw them,” said Maynard Whitten, who lives less than a mile from their house on Lyons Road and called the incident “a damn tragedy.”

“Nobody around here seems to know them, even people across the street from them,” he said.

Deborah Plengey and Trudie Lee, who live behind the Prescott Road home of the Shues, said Monday that neither of them recalls meeting the couple.

Police are continuing to investigate what may have led to the shootings on Saturday, according to McCausland. On Saturday, police waited several hours to force their way through the front door of the home, he said, but they suspect Clyde Shue shot himself shortly after calling 911 around 8 a.m.

“Officers needed to make sure they were safe; that’s paramount,” McCausland said. “We made numerous attempts to make contact with anyone inside, all without success. In the mid-afternoon, the tactical team made entry into the home.”

The Shues’ bodies are currently at the state medical examiner’s office, but a representative from the office didn’t respond to a phone call or email on Monday.

On Saturday, Lt. Jeff Love, of the Maine State Police, said investigators are calling “this a domestic violence homicide.”

The windows of the Shues’ home on Prescott Road in Manchester were boarded up Monday. Staff photo by Andy Molloy

The boarded up windows at 543 Prescott Road in Manchester are seen Monday. On Saturday police discovered the remains of Clyde Shue, 82, and Kimberly Shue, 62, who died in an apparent murder-suicide at the residence. Staff photo by Andy Molloy

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Though Maine is a fairly safe state, overall, domestic violence is an entrenched problem.

For the last decade, it has accounted for about half of all homicides each year, according to the state’s Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel. Between 2014 and 2015, 24 people died at the hands of an intimate partner or family member, out of the 42 victims of homicide in those years.

Over the last decade, the number of homicides in Maine has remained consistent, but the percent that were related to domestic violence has been considerably higher than the national rate of 30 percent, according to the state panel.

“Unfortunately, in Maine, domestic violence homicide continues to be at least half of homicides we have every year,” said Francine Stark, executive director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. “Maine doesn’t have all that many homicides overall, but of those that we do have, this tends to be their root.”

After the shooting in Manchester, both Stark and representatives of the Family Violence Project, a group serving Kennebec and Somerset counties, urged anyone who has questions or concerns about domestic violence to speak with an advocate at a 24-hour hotline, 1-877-890-7788.

“While many of the facts in this tragic situation remain unclear, one fact is certain: domestic violence affects everyone, including the victim(s), surviving victims, other family and all members of the community,” said Melody Fitch, executive director of the Family Violence Project, in a news release. “While it is troubling to recognize, a quiet neighborhood in which everyone seems to know one another, is as likely a scenario for inexcusable violence and abuse as any other. When we open our eyes and seek to understand, we will begin to break the isolation and silence that surrounds domestic violence and perpetuates its existence.”

According to Stark, in the wake of a domestic violence homicide, acquaintances of the victim or perpetrator may wonder what they could have done differently, but she encouraged anyone with those questions to call the hotline, along with people who feel they are in an abusive relationship.

“While we all can think about things we might have done to be more helpful to victims, the choice lay in the hands of the person who committed that act solely,” Stark said. “That leaves the rest of us to grieve and move forward and to make meaning out of this loss.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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