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In Tense Body Cam Footage, Officers Confront Elderly Woman Who Allegedly Shot Her Terminally Ill Husband



Police have released body camera footage after officers confronted a suspect holed up inside a Florida hospital room. Police identified that suspect as Ellen Gilland, 76, who authorities said had just killed her husband Jerry Gilland, 77, as part of a murder-suicide pact.

The video, brief and edited down by the Daytona Beach Police Department, ended with the elderly suspect escorted out of Advent Health Hospital in a wheelchair, her hands bound.

Gilland is charged with first-degree premeditated murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, records show.

According to the charging affidavit, police said they responded to the hospital regarding a shooting. Defendant Gilland was in room 1106 with a gun when officers arrived on the 11th floor. Witnesses claimed to have heard at least one gunshot from inside the room.

“W1 and W2 entered room 1106 and observed the defendant seated on the left side of the patient’s bed,” the affidavit stated. “The defendant was seated with her back to the far wall and the patient bed between her and the entryway of the room. W1 observed the defendant holding a black revolver handgun which she had aimed at W1 and W2. W1 observed the victim laying unresponsive on the bed in a pool of blood.”

Gilland allegedly said she had a gun and told them to leave. Both witnesses said they smelled burnt gunpowder upon entering the room.

Ellen Gilland allegedly shot and killed her terminally ill husband Jerry Gilland as part of a murder-suicide pact, police say. (Mugshot: Volusia Sheriff's Office)

Ellen Gilland allegedly shot and killed her terminally ill husband Jerry Gilland as part of a murder-suicide pact, police say. (Mugshot: Volusia Sheriff’s Office)

Officers worked to convince Gilland to surrender but she kept her gun pointed toward the room doorway while authorities called out to her from outside, the affidavit stated.

As seen in the body camera footage, police had pulled out their guns and repeatedly told her to drop her firearm.

“Tell me what’s going on,” an officer said. “I don’t want to hurt you. We don’t want to hurt you. Tell me what’s going on. Just talk to me.”

The affidavit does not discuss an alleged motive, and an entire block of text is redacted, but Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said in a press conference that the couple had actually planned a murder-suicide. It was allegedly Jerry Gilland who was going to pull the trigger, but he became too frail.

“Apparently because he was terminally ill, they had a conversation about it and they actually planned this approximately three weeks ago that if he continued to take a turn for the worst that he wanted her to end this,” Young said, according to WESH. “Obviously, we’re unsure how she brought that gun into the hospital, but this was planned.”

Police said they managed to arrest Ellen Gilland without anyone else getting shot, but they claim she opened fire one more time.

“The tazer [sic] was deployed [after they used a flashbang], however it was unsuccessful in subduing the defendant,” the affidavit stated. “As the tazer [sic] was fired at the defendant, she fired one round from her handgun which struck the ceiling tiles above the victim’s bed.”

Officers said the murder weapon was a .38 caliber revolver.

After her arrest, defendant Gilland asked for an attorney, police said. Records show she remains without bond at the Volusia County Jail. Her arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 14.

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