Elderly woman killed terminally ill husband as part of botched suicide promise
Jan 23rd, 2023
A 76-year-old woman, Ellen Gilland, is accused of shooting her terminally ill husband, Jerry Gilland, at AdventHealth Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida as part of a failed murder-suicide pact. The incident took place on Saturday morning, and Ellen was arrested shortly after. According to investigators, the Gillands had made a pact to carry out a murder-suicide if Jerry’s health continued deteriorating.
“The goal was for him to do it, but he did not have the strength, so she had to carry it out for him,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said Sunday, as reported by ClickOrlando. Jerry Gilland was alone in his hospital room at the time of the shooting and no one else was harmed, but part of the hospital was evacuated and some doctors, nurses and others took cover in locked closets and rooms during the hours-long standoff that followed.
Ellen allegedly told officers that her husband, 77, had been ill for some time, and that the two of them had planned the murder-suicide three weeks ago, reported the station WESH. After allegedly shooting dead her sick husband, Ellen barricaded herself inside his room, refusing to come out until 3:30 p. m.
, authorities said. She was taken into custody after SWAT officers used a flash bang device to distract her and shot her with a beanbag.
Chief Young said that although Ellen never threatened to shoot any of the responding police officers, she also never put the gun down. Fearing a potential shootout, the SWAT team that was called to the scene deployed a device commonly known as a flash bang to distract the woman. The 76-year-old was also hit with a non-lethal projectile, after which she was arrested, bringing the four-hour standoff to a close.
Ellen made her initial court appearance Sunday to face a charge of first-degree premediated murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Volusia County Judge Mary Jolley ordered the woman held in jail without bail. It is a tragic and shocking incident, and it raises questions about the ethics of murder-suicide pacts, end-of-life care and the support available for terminally ill patients and their families.
It is not clear what led the couple to make such a pact, but it is likely that they were struggling with the suffering and hopelessness that often comes with terminal illness. It is important to remember that there are always other options available and that help is always available.
There are many organizations that provide support and counseling for individuals and families coping with terminal illness, and it is essential that they seek help before making a decision such as this.
In conclusion, the fatal shooting of Jerry Gilland is a heart-wrenching incident that serves as a reminder of the importance of providing support and resources to terminally ill patients and their families. It is important to remember that there are always other options available and that help is always available.
The incident has raised many ethical questions, and it is important to have a conversation about the support that is available for terminally ill patients and their families.