Woman Charged After Fatal Shooting of Terminally Ill Husband in Florida Hospital

A 76-year-old woman was arrested and charged with murder after she allegedly shot her terminally ill husband inside an AdventHealth hospital room in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday, January 21, police said.

Ellen Gilland, a resident of New Smyrna Beach, was being held in a Volusia County jail and faced one charge of first-degree premeditated murder and three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Volusia County Corrections website.

Gilland is charged with shooting her 77-year-old husband, Jerry Gilland, who had been ill for some time, at around 11:30 am. Police said she then refused to leave his room for several hours, before surrendering to them at around 3 pm.

This bodycam footage shows officers outside the room with their weapons raised, shouting into the room and urging Gilland to drop her gun. “We don’t want to hurt you! Tell me what’s going on. Just talk to me,” one officer says. The video then cuts to Gilland handcuffed in a wheelchair as police take her out of the hospital building.

According to Daytona Police Chief Jakari Young, Gilland told police that she and her husband had made a plan about three weeks earlier to end his life should he “take a turn for the worse.” The couple’s goal was for Mr Gilland to shoot himself, but because he didn’t have the strength, his wife shot him instead, Young said.

Gilland also planned to “turn the gun on herself” after shooting her husband, but decided not go through with it, Young said.

“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,” Young said. To distract Gilland and urge her to put down the gun, police threw a “flash bang” into the room which caused a loud noise and startled Gilland, who fired a shot into the ceiling. Police continued negotiating with Gilland and took her into custody, Young said.

AdventHealth released a statement on Saturday afternoon, saying: “We are devastated by the tragedy that unfolded at the AdventHealth Daytona Beach campus today, and our prayers are with those impacted. We are grateful for the Daytona Beach Police Department in helping ensure the safety of our patients, team members and visitors.” Credit: Daytona Beach Police Dept. via Storyful

Video Transcript

- I think so. Drop the gun.

- Drop the gun right now.

- Drop the gun.

- Drop the gun.

- Got any eyes, [INAUDIBLE]?

- What's that?

- You got any eyes?

- I can't see the--

- She's sitting right behind the bed.

- Yeah, she's on the other side of the bed.

- Oh I think--

- It's a black revolver.

- He said a visitor.

- Drop the gun.

- Drop the gun.

- Drop the gun.

- Just drop it. Just put it on the ground, and slide it away from you.

- Drop the gun.

- No, no, no.

- I got you.

- I got you.

- You can't open from the outside?

- Hey, here.

- Yeah--

- Frank, it's over with this?

- Move away from the outside?

- Yeah, shoot--

- Drop the gun.

- Watch out. Watch out. Watch out. Watch out.

- We got time. Back up. Back up. We got time. We got time. We got nothing but time, guys. Can we evacuate some patients from the adjoining rooms? Can we do that or not?

- Drop the gun ma'am.

- I got-- I got a good angle right here.

- Drop the gun.

- Drop the gun.

- Ma'am-- hold on. Don't dialogue. Tell me what's going on. Tell me what-- we-- I don't want to hurt you. We don't want to hurt you. Tell me what's going on. Just talk to me. Talk to me. What's going on? Why can't you drop the gun? Why can't you drop the gun?