UPDATES: Gilland has been charged with first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Volusia County Corrections website. She is being held without bond at the Volusia County Jail.
A New Smyrna Beach woman could face a first-degree murder charge after fatally shooting her terminally ill husband at Advent Health hospital in Daytona Beach Saturday morning in an incident authorities believe the couple planned together, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said at a press conference.
Charges are pending against Ellen Gilland, 76, who is in custody following a standoff with police in her husband’s hospital room.
Police responding to the shooting around 11:35 am Gilland refused to leave the room at the hospital at 301 Medical Memorial Parkway. Young said she planned to turn the gun on herself but decided she couldn’t go through with it.
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“Apparently because (her husband) was terminally ill, they had a conversation about it and they actually planned this about three weeks ago, that if he continued to take a turn for the worse, that … he wanted her to end this,” Young said.
“Apparently the goal was for him to do it, but he did not have the strength, so she had to carry it out for him,” Young said.
While authorities negotiated with Gilland, other patients and staff were evacuated from the area, according to a news release from the police department. Young called it “some what of a logistical nightmare” because the shooting happened on the 11th floor, which included terminally ill patients on ventilators. Authorities didn’t have enough room to evacuate the entire floor, so they evacuated the most important rooms.
The standoff was isolated to Jerry Gilland’s room, Young said. It’s not clear yet how his wife got a gun into the hospital, Young said.
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The woman didn’t threaten to shoot anyone else, but she didn’t put her gun down, he said. Police used a flash-bang device and a non-lethal round to detain her.
Young people are encouraged to seek help if they are struggling.
He called it a “very tragic” incident, but he said he was proud of how officers handled the situation.
“My hostage negotiators were able to establish a dialogue with the wife, and that dialogue lasted until about 3 pm, where we were finally able to take her into custody,” Young said.
The response includes the SWAT team as well as the hostage negotiation team.
“It’s a tragic circumstance because it just shows that none of us are immune from the trials and tribulations of life,” Young said.
Police said Gilland was taken to Volusia County Branch Jail.
Police did not provide details about the illness of her husband, Jerry Gilland, 77, had been struggling with or how long he had been ill. No one else was injured in the incident, Young said.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Daytona police detain woman who fatally shot terminally ill husband