“There are so many unanswered questions,” Slater said. “I’ve been running things over and over in my mind trying to figure it out.”
Usually when an individual violates a court order of protection, like O’Shields allegedly did a day before the shooting, he or she is arrested and taken into custody, Slater said, adding that if O’Shields had been arrested, Mariann’s death might have been prevented.
The tragedy will likely make women rethink going to a shelter, Slater said.
“They are supposed to be a safe place where someone can go and be protected,” Slater said. “I don’t understand how this happened. This will make women wary of even leaving the shelter at all.”
Slater said she and her brother are trying to stay out of the investigation and let police do their job. They wish the public would focus on remembering their mother and not on O’Shields, she said, because he doesn’t deserve to be glorified for his senseless crime.
“We just want to be able to get through this,” Slater said.
Mariann’s father, Arthur Geier, of Pittsfield, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but Slater said he is “devastated.” Mariann’s mother, Eileen Geier, died in 2000.
Slater said teachers at the Oneonta school her children attend have been very understanding about letting them miss school if they need to. Her oldest son, whom she preferred remained anonymous, said he remembers his grandmother as the sweet woman who discouraged him from playing in the dirt and made him ravioli.
“She loved spending time with her kids and grandkids,” Slater said. “Everyone that knew her loved her.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.