A wealthy Manhattan hedge fund founder allegedly shot dead by his son was killed because he threatened to reduce his adult son’s allowance by $100 per week and discontinue paying his high rent, according to police. Police officials believe that 30-year-old Thomas Gilbert Jr. became irate upon being told that the financial support he received from his father, 70-year-old Thomas Gilbert Sr., would be decreased. Gilbert Jr. is accused of shooting his father in the head one time with a Glock handgun on Sunday afternoon.
The New York Daily News cites a police source who says that the senior Gilbert and his wife, Shelley, were going to reduce their son’s allowance from $400 to $300 per week. In addition, the couple told their son that they would not pay the rent on his Chelsea apartment – located in a building where monthly rents average $3100.
Robert Boyce, NYPD chief of detectives, said that Gilbert Jr. went to his father and mother’s apartment at 20 Beekman Place at approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday and asked to speak with the hedge fund founder in private. His mother, Shelley Gilbert, left the apartment to buy Gilbert Jr. a sandwich and to give the father and son time to speak alone. Boyce said that she was gone for approximately 15 minutes before returning to the apartment because of “a bad feeling” she had. Once there, she discovered the body of her husband inside of his bedroom and phoned 911.
Upon first glance, the murder scene appeared to suggest that the hedge fund founder had created suicide. The body was discovered with a .40-caliber gun on top of the chest, with Gilbert Sr.’s left hand resting on top of it. Police determined the scene had been staged due to the placement of the gun, which did not look like other cases in which suicide was the cause of death, and went to Gilbert Jr.’s apartment.
It took riot police more than an hour to break down the door to Gilbert Jr.’s apartment before he was finally captured at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night. Officers discovered in his apartment two magazine clips which matched the .40 caliber handgun used in the murder, several loose rounds and the box in which the Glock 22 was sold by the manufacturer. Gilbert Jr. requested an attorney and would not answer questions.
Boyce said that the younger Gilbert, who held a degree from Princeton, received a “stipend from the family” and that it appeared as though “he was in debt.” He has been charged with illegally possessing a weapon and murder. Police took an emotionless and silent Gilbert out of the 17th Precinct Station and delivered him to the Manhattan Criminal Court. As of Monday night, he had yet to be arraigned.
Gilbert Sr. established the $200 million Wainscott Capital Partners hedge fund, which focuses on the health care and biotech industries. He graduated from Harvard Business School and Princeton and worked on Wall Street for 40 years. Neighbors and members of the community expressed shock at his murder, which allegedly occurred at the hands of his son. One neighbor described the hedge fund founder as “courteous, elegant and well-dressed,” adding that he would mainly remember the senior Gilbert for “his smile.”
By Jennifer Pfalz