Halifax Health adds metal detectors, extra security measures to hospitals

‘Unfortunately, that’s the new way of the world that we live in,’ hospital executive says

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Halifax Health in Volusia County is beefing up security at its hospitals by installing metal detectors at its entrances. The move comes just days after a woman shot and killed her terminally ill husband inside an Advent Health Daytona Beach hospital room.

Halifax said it was already planning on installing detectors this week before the shooting occurred but administrators are strengthening security even more.

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The metal detectors will officially go online Wednesday morning at all of the entrances at Halifax Hospital.

“Unfortunately, that’s the new way of the world that we live in,” Halifax’s Chief Operations Officer Alberto Tineo said.

Tineo said the metal detectors are just the beginning of heightened security at the hospital. He said they’ll also be bringing in X-ray machines visitors will also go through.

“We will have visual inspections of bags making sure people aren’t bringing guns or arms,” he said.

It’s a scenario that was brought to reality in Daytona Beach on Saturday at AdventHealth’s hospital. Police said Ellen Gilland, 76, shot and killed her terminally ill husband in his room.

Police said Gilland told investigators the husband had been ill for some time and she and her husband planned the shooting together weeks prior. She told them it was supposed to be a murder-suicide. After officers negotiated with her to drop the gun, she was arrested on first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges.

Police Chief Jakari Young told News 6 what’s also concerning was how Gilland was able to bring a gun into the hospital.

“We have to look at where we’re at now as far as active shooter incidents, they’ve occurred almost any and everywhere you can think of,” he said.

A shooting is an incident Halifax Health employees also know.

“Back in 2014, we had an active shooter here at Halifax,” Tineo sai.

That was when police said a 20-year-old man brought in a shotgun, attempted to sexually assault two nurses and then killed himself.

It led Halifax administrators to strengthen their security plans. They put metal detectors in their Deltona hospital when it was built three years ago. The budget for them in other hospitals was then approved last fall.

“Our plan was to all along to put metal detectors in all of our entrances,” Tineo said.

News 6 has reached out to AdventHealth several times with questions about its security measures since the incident Saturday but have not heard back at this time.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.