A woman is believed to have shot and killed her terminally ill husband in his Florida hospital room on Saturday in what police said was a “tragic and unfortunate circumstance” the couple had planned together.
Daytona Beach Police Department officers responded around 11:35 a.m. local time to a shooting at AdventHealth Daytona Beach, Chief Jacari Young said.
The 77-year-old patient, identified by police as Jerry Gilland, is believed to have been shot in the head, Young said. Police negotiated with his 76-year-old wife, who was trapped in a hospital room, for several hours before she surrendered shortly after 3:00 p.m. local time, police said.
The couple allegedly planned the shooting about three weeks ago when the husband took a “turn for the worse,” Young said.
“This is a tragic and unfortunate incident,” Young said. “It just goes to show that none of us are immune to life’s trials and tribulations.”
The initial plan may have been a murder-suicide, but the wife, identified by police as Ellen Gilland, “decided she couldn’t go through with it,” Young said.
“Apparently there was a purpose for him to do it, but he didn’t have the strength, so she had to do it for him,” he said.
Staff and other patients at the long-term care facility were removed from the area after the shooting, police said. No one else was injured and the woman was “not considered a threat to staff or patients,” police said during the briefing. The man was the only patient in the room, Young said.
Young praised the hostage negotiators who were able to negotiate with his wife for hours while she held the gun. Officers used a flash to distract the woman and entered the room to take her into custody, Young said.
Ellen Gilland could be charged with first-degree murder, according to Young, who described it as a “tough situation.”
“She was already depressed just from the fact that her husband was terminally ill and knew the end was near,” Young said.
“Unfortunately, we see this quite often, especially during holidays,” said the chief. “The only advice I could give is to do everything you can to get help if they have thoughts, surround yourself with family.”
The hospital campus is open to visitors, according to AdventHealth.
“We are devastated by the tragedy that occurred today at AdventHealth’s Daytona Beach campus, and we are praying for those affected,” AdventHealth said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Daytona Beach Police Department for their assistance in keeping our patients, team members and visitors safe.”
ABC News’ Gianna Cousins contributed to this report.