Crime

Woman, 76, Arrested For Shooting Dead Her Terminally Ill Husband In Hospital

An elderly woman in Florida has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting and killing her terminally ill husband.

Ellen Gilland, age 76, has been accused of shooting her 77-year-old husband Jerry Gilland at a hospital in Daytona Beach. She is currently being held in Volusia County Jail without bond.

Authorities have confirmed that the shooting, which took place on Saturday morning (January 21st), was believed to have been planned by Ellen and her husband approximately three weeks prior.

Police in Daytona Beach believe that the couple had agreed to a murder-suicide pact and that Ellen Gilland had planned to shoot herself as well, but ultimately did not go through with it.

During a press conference, Police Chief Jakari E. Young stated:

"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 also added that Jerry had attempted to end his own life, but did not have the strength, so Ellen had agreed to carry it out for him.

According to local reports, Ellen told officers that her husband had been ill for some time, and the couple had agreed on a murder-suicide.

Authorities claim that after the shooting, Ellen locked herself in the hospital room and refused to put down her weapon, though she did not threaten to open fire on anyone else.

Police were on the scene for approximately three and a half hours while they attempted to de-escalate the situation. During that time, doctors, nurses, and patients were either evacuated from the building or took cover inside.

A SWAT team eventually managed to get Ellen out of the hospital room by 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."

Regarding the incident, a spokesperson for AdventHealth Daytona Beach, the hospital where the shooting took place, commented: "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 currently facing a charge of first-degree murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.