A Florida woman is believed to have fatally shot her terminally ill husband in his hospital room after the couple struck a murder-suicide deal, police said.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting at Advent Health Hospital around noon Saturday Daytona Beach The police department reported.
They arrived to find 76-year-old Ellen Gilland in her husband’s room after she had shot her husband, 77-year-old Jerry Gilland.
After a three-hour standoff, negotiators convinced Ms. Gilland to come out and surrender, police said.
She was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.
During her first court appearance on Sunday, Ms. Gilland was ordered held without bail.
“Due to the nature of the charge, Mrs Gilland, I am not going to commit you to the murder charge and the other charges and then you will be given a future trial date,” said Judge Mary Jolley.
Daytona Beach police said the New Smyrna Beach couple entered into a murder-suicide contract three weeks ago, agreeing that Ms Gilland would kill her husband and then herself if his health deteriorated.
“Obviously because he was terminally ill, they talked about it, and they actually planned it about three weeks ago, that if he continued to take a turn for the worse, he wanted her to end it,” said Dayton Police Sgt. -Beach Jacari Young. .
“Obviously, we don’t know how she got that gun into the hospital, but it was planned.”
No one else was hurt, and Ms. Gilland was not considered a threat to anyone because she never left her husband’s room.
“She never put the gun away, so she never threatened to shoot any of us, but she never put the gun away,” Mr Young said. “So we have to assume that you know that if we had rushed there, we didn’t communicate effectively that it could have turned into a firefight.”