Woman, 76, shot dead terminally ill husband at hospital after they made murder-suicide pact, police say

A Florida woman allegedly shot and killed her terminally ill husband in his hospital room after the couple made a murder-suicide pact, police say.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting at Advent Health Hospital around midday Saturday, the Daytona Beach Police Department said.

They arrived to find 76-year-old Ellen Gilland confined in her husband’s room after having shot her husband, 77-year-old Jerry Gilland.

A three-hour standoff ensued before negotiators convinced Ms Gilland to come out and surrender, police said.

She was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.

At her first court appearance on Sunday, Ms Gilland was ordered held without bond.

Ellen Gilland has been charged with the murder of her husband at a Daytona Beach hospital (Daytona Beach Police Department)
Ellen Gilland has been charged with the murder of her husband at a Daytona Beach hospital (Daytona Beach Police Department)

“Based upon the nature of the charge, Mrs Gilland, I am going to hold you no bond on the murder charge and the remaining charges and then you’ll be set for a future court date,” Judge Mary Jolley said.

Daytona Beach Police said the couple from New Smyrna Beach made a murder-suicide pact three weeks ago, agreeing that Ms Gilland would kill her husband and then himself if his health worsened.

“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,” Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young said.

“Obviously, we’re unsure how she brought that gun into the hospital, but this was planned.”

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No one else was injured and Ms Gilland was not considered a threat to anyone else because she never left her husband’s room.

“She never put the gun down, so she never specifically made a threat that she was going to shoot any of us, but she never put the gun down,” Mr Young said. “So we would have to assume that you know if we were to rush in there, we didn’t effectively communicate that it could have turned into a shootout situation.”