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Elderly Florida Woman Allegedly Shot Terminally Ill Husband To Death At Hospital

Police say that Ellen Gilland allegedly killed her husband Jerry in a murder-suicide pact but didn't go through with killing herself.

By Megan Carpentier
7 Statistics About Shootings Incidents in America

An elderly Florida woman allegedly killed her terminally ill husband in his hospital room on Saturday.

Police say that Ellen Gilland, 76, shot her husband, Jerry Gilland, 77, to death in his room at the AdventHealth Daytona Beach hospital around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, NBC Daytona Beach affiliate WESH reported.

She has been charged with first degree premeditated murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. She is currently being held without bond in the Volusia County Jail and has been assigned a public defender.

At a press conference on Saturday, Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young told reporters that the two had planned Jerry Gilland's death three weeks before the shooting.

"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, according to WESH.

A police handout of Ellen Gilland

Police believe that the couple's original plan was for Jerry Gilland to shoot himself but, by Saturday, he was allegedly too weak to pull the trigger. Young said that the dead man knew the shooting would happen on Saturday.

"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," Young told reporters, according to NBC News.

RELATED: Family Of 6-Year-Old Who Allegedly Shot Virginia Elementary Teacher Speaks Out

After the shooting, Ellen Gilland allegedly pointed the gun at several witnesses and ordered them out of the 11th floor room, inside of which she then barricaded herself.

The hospital went into lockdown mode after the shooting. Staff and responding officers were able to clear several rooms around the area of the shooting, but were not able to clear the floor because it housed too many terminally ill patients who were on ventilators, WESH reported.

Negotiators tried for nearly four hours to convince Ellen Gilland to surrender herself, but she refused.\

"She never put the gun down," Young said of the negotiations.

Instead, after four hours, police deployed a flash bang to gain entry with less risk, WESH reported. Ellen Gilland shot the ceiling of the room after the flash bang went off, and was subsequently Tasered, Fox Orlando affiliate WOFL reported.

"She was already in a depressed state just based on her husband being terminally ill and knowing that the end was near," Young said of the suspect, according to WESH. He encouraged anyone struggling with a similar situation to seek help.

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