A woman allegedly shot and killed her terminally ill husband in his Florida hospital room on Saturday in what police said was a “tragic and unfortunate circumstance” that the couple planned together.
Officers from the Daytona Beach Police Department responded around 11:35 a.m. local time to a shooting at AdventHealth Daytona Beach, Chief Jakari Young said.
The 77-year-old patient was believed to have been shot in the head, Young said. Police negotiated with his 76-year-old wife, who had confined herself in the hospital room, for several hours before she surrendered shortly after 3 p.m. local time, police said.
The couple allegedly planned the shooting about three weeks ago, should the husband take a “turn for the worse,” Young said.
“It’s a tragic and unfortunate incident,” Young said. “It just shows that none of us are immune from the trials and tribulations of life.”
The initial plan may have been a murder-suicide, but the woman “decided she couldn’t go through with it,” Young said.
“Apparently the goal was for him to do it, but he did not have the strength so she had to carry it out for him,” he said.
Staff and other patients on the terminally ill floor were removed from the area following the shooting, police said. No one else was injured and the woman was “not seen as a threat to staff or patients,” police said amid negotiations. The man was the only patient in the room, Young said.
Young commended the hostage negotiators who were able to establish the hours-long dialogue with the woman as she held on to the gun. Officers used a flash bang to distract the woman and enter the room to take her into custody, Young said.
The wife could be charged with first-degree murder, according to Young, who described it as a “tough situation.”
“She was already in a depressed state, just based on her husband being terminally ill and knowing that the end was near,” Young said.
“Unfortunately, we see this quite often, especially around the holidays,” the chief said. “The only advice I could give would be to, you know, do their best to seek help if they’re having thoughts, surround themselves with family.”
ABC News’ Jianna Cousin contributed to this report.
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