DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A woman fatally shot her terminally ill husband inside a Florida hospital on Saturday and then barricaded herself in his room for four hours before surrendering, Daytona Beach officials said.
Police on Saturday responded to AdventHealth Daytona Beach around 11:35 a.m. after a “female shot her terminally ill husband” and confined herself to his room, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.
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Police said negotiations began at 12:30 p.m. and a woman was taken into custody after surrendering around 3 p.m.
Ellen Gilland, 76, told officers that her 77-year-old husband Jerry Gilland had been ill for some time and they had planned the shooting together three weeks ago, police said.
After shooting her husband at about 11:30 a.m., she refused to come out until about 3:30 p.m. after negotiating with police, McCallister said. Ellen Gilland did not harm herself and no one else was wounded. Part of the hospital was evacuated and some doctors, nurses and others took cover in locked closets and rooms.
“We were able to establish a dialogue with her, we used a distractionary device to get her to put that gun down long enough for us to hit her with less lethal and get her into custody,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said.
Chief Young said the couple had a murder-suicide agreement, but Ellen Gilland couldn’t go through with it.
“The goal was for him to do it, but he did not have the strength, so she had to carry it out for him,” Chief Young said.
No one else was injured, according to a news release. Officers said they evacuated all staff and patients from around the room by 12:21 p.m. Officials said it was an additional challenge since that floor of the hospital is dedicated to terminally ill patients.
“This was somewhat of a logistical nightmare which is why I’m very proud of my team, because that 11th floor is made up of terminally ill patients, so pretty much all the patients on that floor are on ventilators so they didn’t have the room to evacuate that entire floor, so they evacuated the rooms where it was the most important to get them out of the way,” Young said.
Officials said Ellen Gilland faces charges of first-degree premeditated murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Police said the couple is from New Smyrna Beach, but did not know how long the man was a patient at the hospital.
AdventHealth Daytona posted a statement on Facebook that read in part, “We are grateful to the Daytona Beach Police Department for helping ensure the safety of our patients, team members and visitors.”
This is a developing story. Check back with News 6 for the latest updates.
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