A woman shot and killed her husband as part of a murder-suicide pact that ended in a tense standoff with cops at a hospital, according to police in Daytona, Beach, Florida. Officers identified the defendant as Ellen Gilland, 76, and the victim as Jerry Gilland, 77, according to a press conference covered by WESH.
Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young said that the couple, from nearby New Smyrna Beach, planned this about three weeks ago. They allegedly would do it if Jerry’s condition deteriorated, and he would be the one to carry out the shooting. He became too frail, however, police said.
“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,” Young said. “Obviously, we’re unsure how she brought that gun into the hospital, but this was planned.”
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The shooting call was at about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, he said. Police arrived at the Advent Health Hospital.
“Units arrived on scene to find that a female had shot her terminally ill husband and had confined herself to his room,” cops said in a statement. “Officers have evacuated staff and patients around the room, and at this time the female is not seen as a threat to staff or patients. No one else has been injured. We are currently negotiating with the female to get her to surrender and come out of the hospital.”
Evacuating the nearby rooms was reportedly a “logistical nightmare” because that floor, the 11th, was for terminally ill patients, most of whom were on ventilators.
“She never put the gun down, so she never specifically made a threat that she was going to shoot any of us, but she never put the gun down,” Young said. “So we would have to assume that you know if we were to rush in there, we didn’t effectively communicate that it could have turned into a shootout situation.”
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Young said officers used a flash bang and struck defendant Gilland with a bean bag in order to get in the room and arrest her.
Gilland is in the Volusia County Jail without bond for a count of first-degree premeditated murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, online records show.
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