By Devoun Cetoute
Source Miami Herald
A Florida hospital fell into chaos after an elderly woman shot and killed her terminally ill husband in what was supposed to be a murder-suicide pact Saturday, authorities said.
Around 11:35 a.m., Daytona Beach police officers rushed to the terminally ill floor of Advent Health Hospital to reports of a person being shot, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari E. Young said.
Ellen Gilland, a 76-year-old from New Smyrna Beach, had just carried out phase one of a plan her and her terminally ill husband Jerry Gilland, 77, had made three weeks ago — killing him in his hospital room, Young said.
The couple decided that if his health took a turn for the worse, he would kill himself and then she would do the same. But with Jerry not having enough strength, she shot him in the head, police said.
“She is very sad, this is obviously a tough situation,” Young said. “Her husband is terminally ill so she was already in a depressed state ... and knowing that the end was near.”
Staff and patients around the room were evacuated, even though officers said the woman was not a threat to them.
Ellen wasn’t able to turn the gun on herself and barricaded inside the room. Police began negotiations.
“We used a distractionary device to get her to put that gun down long enough to hit her with [less than lethal force] and get her into custody,” Young said.
By 3 p.m., Ellen was in cuffs and could be facing a first degree murder charge, police said.
“I’m very proud of my officers on how they responded to this situation,” Young said. “This was truly an example of how we should do it. It was a very trying day for us ....”
©2023 Miami Herald.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.