Woman, 76, arrested for shooting dead her terminally ill husband in hospital
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Featured Image Credit: Daytona Beach Police Department/Ellen Gilland/Facebook
An elderly Florida woman has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting her terminally ill husband.
After the incident took place on Saturday morning (21 January), authorities confirmed that they believed Ellen had planned the shooting with her husband 'approximately three weeks ago'.
Daytona Beach Police believe that the couple had agreed to a murder-suicide pact, and Ellen Gilland had planned to shoot herself as well, but in the end she 'couldn't go through with it'.
Police Chief Jakari E. Young said at a press conference: "Apparently because he was terminally ill, they had a conversation about it and they actually planned this approximately three weeks ago that if he continued to take a turn for the worst that he wanted her to end this.
"Obviously, we're unsure how she brought that gun into the hospital, but this was planned."
Young added that Jerry had supposedly attempted to end his own life, but 'did not have the strength', so Ellen had agreed to 'carry it out for him'.
Local reports state that Ellen told officers that her husband had been sick for some time, so the couple had agreed on a murder-suicide.
After the shooting, authorities claim that Ellen locked herself inside the hospital room and, though she did not threaten to open fire on anyone else, she refused to put her weapon down.
Police were at the scene for about three and a half hours as they attempted to deescalate the situation, while doctors, nurses, and patients were either evacuated from the building or took cover inside.
Eventually, a SWAT team managed to get Ellen out of the hospital room using a flash bang device.
"It's a tragic circumstance because it just shows that none of us are immune from the trials and tribulations of life," said Police Chief Young. "Even after the initial shooting, she never tried to get up and leave, so everything was confined to the room."
Commenting on the incident, a spokesperson for AdventHealth Daytona Beach, the hospital where the shooting occurred, said: "We are devastated by the tragedy that unfolded at the AdventHealth Daytona Beach campus today, and our prayers are with those impacted.
"We are grateful for the Daytona Beach Police Department in helping ensure the safety of our patients, team members and visitors.
Ellen is now facing a charge of first-degree murder, and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
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