23 January 2023 |
A 76-year-old woman, Ellen Gilland, is facing first-degree murder charges and being held without bail after allegedly fatally shooting her terminally ill husband, in what police say was an intended murder-suicide on Saturday, January 21.
According to CNN, the husband, 77-year-old Jerry Gilland, was hospitalized at the AdventHealth Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida, and made a plan with his wife three weeks ago to “end it” should his health get worse, Daytona Beach police chief Jakari E. Young said in a news conference.
The husband intended to turn the gun on himself, but was physically too weak to do so, police said. His wife, who intended to take her own life after, said she “couldn’t go through with it,” according to Young. The woman then barricaded herself in the hospital room.
Officers responded to the hospital shortly after 11:30 a.m. and hostage negotiators made contact with the woman. She was taken into police custody at approximately 3 p.m. Keeping other patients on the 11th floor, where the situation took place, was a “logistical nightmare,” as many patients were on ventilators and could not be easily evacuated, Young added.
WESH 2 News posted body cam footage of the police negotiating with Gilland in the hospital, before she was taken into custody. No staff or patients were threatened during the incident.
People in New Smyrna Beach who used to live next door to Ellen and Jerry Gilland are struggling to accept how their story ended. Devan and George Kotsonis say the couple was living in the house next door to theirs for just a few months.
“We were like, wait, are they sure they have the right people? Because they were just so sweet,” neighbor George Kotsonis said.
AdventHealth Daytona Beach posted on Facebook after the incident on Saturday: “AdventHealth Daytona Beach is open for visitors and our community seeking care. We are grateful to the Daytona Beach Police Department for helping ensure the safety of our patients, team members and visitors.”