80-year-old Oklahoma man kills 77-year-old wife with dementia because he couldn't take care of her anymore
Royce Davis told authorities that although they were married for more than 50 years, she didn't recognize him anymore. "He couldn't take care of her any longer, and he just shot and killed her. And he was going to do the same to himself," police said
MIDWEST CITY, OKLAHOMA: An 80-year-old man has reportedly shot and killed his wife of 50 years because he couldn't take care of her anymore.
Royce Davis has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 77-year-old wife Dorothy Davis. According to KOCO, she initially survived the gunshot but succumbed to her injuries at an Oklahoma hospital.
Royce dialed 911 at about 3 am on Monday, October 7, to report the crime. Police authorities said he had planned to kill himself as well, but they were able to convince him to put the gun down.
When cops arrived at the couple's Midwest City home, they found Dorothy lying on the bed with a gunshot wound to the head.
"When he shot his wife, it didn't kill her immediately," police Chief Brandon Clabes said. "She was still breathing. He was concerned about her welfare." Dispatchers learned during the 911 call that Dorothy had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia for the longest time.
Royce also told authorities that although they were married for more than 50 years, she didn't recognize him anymore. "He couldn't take care of her any longer, and he just shot and killed her. And he was going to do the same to himself," Clabes said.
Police were able to negotiate with Royce over the phone to put the gun down. "Our suspect felt like this was his only option, but it wasn't," Clabes said.
The 80-year-old eventually walked out of the College Avenue and Adair Boulevard home and surrendered to authorities, who booked him into the Oklahoma County Jail on a murder charge.
Nearby residents told KOCO that they were shocked to hear about the crime, adding that the couple was always kind and caring. "Just about every afternoon, they would sit on their porch together, holding hands," neighbor Ruben Ramos said. "So, they looked like that happy-ending couple."
"I'd never fathomed in my wildest dreams that it was like this," neighbor Diana Logan added.
"Police officers have an extremely difficult job on a daily basis and this tragedy underlines that fact. Responding to a call where a husband of over 50 years decides to take his wife's life because she has suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's for years is heartbreaking in so many different ways," Chief Clabes said.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they deal with this horrible situation," he added.