Ellen Gilland: 76-yr-old woman fatally shoots terminally ill husband in hospital room

Ellen Gilland: 76-yr-old woman fatally shoots terminally ill husband in hospital room
The incident happened at the AdventHealth Daytona Beach hospital (Fox5/Screenshot)

DAYTONA, FLORIDA: A 76-year-old woman has reportedly been arrested for fatally shooting her terminally ill husband at a Florida hospital following a pact police said the couple made several weeks ago.

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The incident took place at around 11.45 am on Saturday, January 21 when Ellen Gilland shot her 77-year-old husband Jerry Gilland in the head on the 11th floor of the AdventHealth Daytona Beach hospital. Ellen confined herself to the room and refused to drop her gun when the authorities arrived, said Chief Jakari E Young of the Daytona Beach Police Department. After an hours-long standoff, the elderly woman finally surrendered around 3 pm.

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Patients and staff surrounding the room were evacuated as authorities said they used a flash-bang device and a bean bag gun to help take Ellen into custody, reported the New York Times. “Even after the initial shooting, she never tried to get up and leave, so everything was confined to the room,” Chief Young said. “At no time were any of the hospital staff threatened, or any other patients.”

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During the negotiation, the police learned that the couple allegedly planned the shooting about three weeks ago and decided to take the horrific step if Jerry’s health continued to decline. "Apparently, because he was terminally ill, they had a conversation about it, and they actually planned this approximately about three weeks ago, if he continued to take a turn for the worse," Chief Young said. "He wanted her to end this."

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Chief Young added that Ellen Gilland had even planned to shoot herself but in the end took a step back. "Initially, I think the plan was a murder-suicide so she killed him, and then she was going to turn the gun on herself but decided she couldn’t go through with it," he told reporters. “It’s a tragic circumstance because it just shows that none of us are immune from the trials and tribulations of life.”



 

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Officials said they are unsure Ellen managed to bring a gun inside the hospital. She could face a first-degree murder charge, Chief Young said. “She’s very sad, this is obviously a — it’s a tough situation.” he said, adding Ellen had been in a “depressed state because she understood that Mr. Gilland was terminally ill and that the “end was near.”

Reflecting on the horrific incident, the Florida-based AdventHealth system said in a statement, “We are devastated by the tragedy that unfolded at the AdventHealth Daytona Beach campus today, and our prayers are with those impacted.”

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