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Nova Scotia

Halifax Health adds planned security after shooting at AdventHealth Daytona Beach

Visitors to Halifax Health Medical Center in Volusia County are officially required to go through metal detectors before entering the building.

Hospital officials said they had already spoken about installing the detectors, but they were speeding up installation after police said a woman shot and killed her terminally ill husband about five miles away in AdventHealth Daytona Beach on Saturday.

The hospital system has also increased security measures at the hospital entrance, including bag checks for all visitors. Visitors already had to identify themselves and check in at reception to enter the hospital.

In the coming months, Halifax Health will install x-ray machines that will scan guests more quickly for weapons and other prohibited items.

“Unfortunately, this is the new kind of world we live in,” Chief Operations Officer Alberto Tineo told local media.

Plans to increase security at all Halifax Health facilities were developed following a 2014 shooting at the medical center. Metal detectors were installed at the Deltona hospital when it opened three years ago. and the hospital last year approved the addition of similar measures at other sites.

AdventHealth did not announce increased security measures as of Wednesday.

Police have released a report of Saturday’s shooting and its aftermath at a terminally ill patient floor in AdventHealth Daytona Beach.

Police say Ellen Gilland planned a suicide pact with her husband for weeks before fatally shooting him at AdventHealth Daytona Beach hospital.

Volusia County Division of Corrections


via AP

Police say Ellen Gilland planned a suicide pact with her husband for weeks before fatally shooting him at AdventHealth Daytona Beach hospital.

In a murder-suicide plot, 76-year-old Ellen Gilland would fatally shoot her terminally ill 77-year-old husband Jerry and then kill herself, investigators said. But after shooting him in the head in the 11th-floor hospital room, she couldn’t go through with the rest.

Instead, Gilland, still armed, found herself in a four-hour standoff with police until officers were able to use a non-lethal explosive to distract her and take her into custody.

The couple hatched the plan three weeks ago, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said. During one conversation, he said, they decided that if Jerry Gilland’s illness got worse, “he wanted her to end it.”

“Apparently the goal was for him to do it, but he didn’t have the strength so she had to execute it,” Young said.

So they turned to a “homicide-suicide where she would kill herself,” the police chief said. “But she decided she couldn’t pull it off.”

After hearing a gunshot from room 1106, two hospital workers entered and found Ellen Gilland sitting by the bed while her husband was unresponsive in a pool of blood. She pointed the gun at the couple and asked them to leave the room, which police said smelled of burnt gunpowder. Another employee also entered and was told to leave at gunpoint.

According to the report, staff then began evacuating people from nearby rooms. The police chief called it “a logistical nightmare” as most patients were on ventilators on the 11th floor.

After officers arrived, they lined up in the hallway and pointed guns toward the open door of Room 1106. The police repeatedly yelled, “Drop your gun! Drop your gun!”

“Tell me what’s going on. We don’t want to hurt you,” shouted one officer. Another said to a colleague, “Back up. Back up. We’ve got time. We’ve got nothing but time.”

After about four hours, SWAT team members used a non-lethal explosive device to distract Ellen Gilland and entered the room. They tried to use a stun gun, but she was unable to quell them and fired a shot into the ceiling. She then dropped the gun and was taken into custody, the police report said.

Gilland was charged Monday with first-degree first-degree murder and two counts of aggressive assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and remained jailed without bond. Her court-appointed public defender did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

“It’s a tragic circumstance,” said the police chief, “because it just goes to show that none of us are immune to the trials and tribulations of life.”

Copyright 2023 Health News Florida

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