DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (TSTIME) — A 76-year-old woman has been taken into custody after fatally shooting her terminally ill husband in the head at a Daytona Beach, Florida, hospital, according to police. Saturday.
The terminally ill man, 77, was hospitalized at Advent Health Hospital and made a plan with his wife three weeks ago to “end it” should his health deteriorate, said Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari E. Young during a press conference. Police have not specified the man’s illness.
The man intended to point the gun at himself, but was physically too weak to do so, police said. His wife, who planned to take her own life afterwards, said she “couldn’t go through with it,” according to Young.
The woman then barricaded herself in the hospital room.
Officers arrived at the hospital shortly after 11:30 a.m. and hostage negotiators contacted the woman, whose identity has not been released. She was taken into police custody around 3 p.m., Young said.
Keeping other patients on the 11th floor, where the situation unfolded, was a “logistical nightmare” as many patients were on a ventilator and could not be easily evacuated, he added.
The woman is in custody and may face a charge of first-degree murder, Young said.
“She’s very sad, it’s a difficult situation,” Young said.
It is unclear how the woman entered the hospital with a gun and whether the hospital had a metal detection security system. The exact weapon used in the shooting also remains unclear.
TSTIME reached out to AdventHealth for comment.
According to Young, there is no longer a police presence at the hospital.
Dr. Joshua Horenstein, a cardiologist at Advent Health Hospital, was working in the emergency department when he learned of the shooting incident.
“Someone came into the emergency room screaming that this wasn’t a drill and to take shelter in place,” Horenstein told TSTIME as he hid with a nurse in a supply room.
Horstein said he was finally able to leave the storeroom after about 90 minutes.
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