An elderly woman who shot dead her terminally ill husband at a Florida hospital after saying they made a pact to do so has been charged with first-degree murder.
Ellen Gilland, 76, was taken into custody Saturday after she refused to leave her husband’s room at AdventHealth Hospital in Daytona Beach. SWAT team members used a nonlethal explosive device to distract her and then tried to use a stun gun on her, authorities in Daytona Beach said Monday.
However, the Taser pistol failed to subdue the woman and she fired a shot into the ceiling of her husband’s hospital room before dropping a .38 revolver and being taken into custody on Saturday after a four-hour standoff, according to a police report from the police. The Daytona Beach Police Department.
Gilland appeared before a judge in Volusia County on Monday and, in addition to the murder charge, was also charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
She was held without bond at the Volusia County Jail Tuesday morning, jail records show.
According to police, Gilland told officers that her 77-year-old husband, Jerry Gilland, had been ill for some time and that they planned the shooting together.
At a press conference on Saturday, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said authorities believe the couple planned the shooting about three weeks earlier.
Gilland’s terminally ill husband intended to fire the weapon himself, but “didn’t have the strength,” Young said, “so she had to run it for him.”
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A deadlock of almost four hours
Police said Gilland intended to shoot himself, but failed to do so.
In a police report released Monday, an officer wrote that witnesses reported seeing Gilland standing behind her husband’s bed and pointing the gun at the door.
According to the report, Gilland kept the gun pointed at the door of the room while talking to officers outside.
Gilland did not threaten to shoot anyone else but did not put down her gun when SWAT officers tried to negotiate her surrender, police said.
The standoff ended when she dropped the gun after nearly four hours and officers took her into custody.
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‘We are devastated’
AdventHealth Daytona Beach released this statement Monday to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network:
“We are devastated by the tragedy that unfolded today on the AdventHealth Daytona Beach campus, and our prayers are with those affected. We are grateful to the Daytona Beach Police Department for helping ensure the safety of our patients, team members and visitors.”
Citing an open police investigation, AdventHealth spokesman David Breen said the hospital would not release any additional comments.
Contributors: Sheldon Gardner and Brenno Carillo, The Daytona Beach News-Journal