Elderly Florida couple’s murder-suicide pact ends in Daytona Beach hospital shooting and hostages


A 76-year-old woman was taken into custody Saturday after shooting her terminally ill husband in the head at a Daytona Beach, Fla., hospital in what police said was a premeditated murder-suicide.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari E. Young said at a news conference that the terminally ill 77-year-old man was hospitalized at Advent Health and had made a plan with his wife three weeks ago that if his health Condition deteriorates, “end it”. Police did not specify the man’s condition.

Police said the man intended to point the gun on himself but was too weak to do so. According to Yang, his wife later decided to take her own life, saying she “couldn’t take it all.”

The woman then locked herself in the ward.

Officers rushed to the hospital shortly after 11:30 a.m. and hostage negotiators contacted the woman, who has not been identified. Young said she was taken into police custody around 3 p.m.

He added that keeping other patients on the 11th floor where the hostage situation took place was a “logistical nightmare” because many patients were on ventilators and could not be easily evacuated.

The woman is in custody and may be awaiting first-degree murder charges, according to Yang.

“She is very sad and in a difficult situation,” Yang said.

It is unclear how the woman entered the hospital with a gun, or whether the hospital has a metal detection security system. The exact firearm used in the shooting was also unclear.

CNN reached out to AdventHealth for comment.

According to Yang, there is no longer a police presence at the hospital.

Advent Health Hospital cardiologist Joshua Horenstein was working in the emergency room when he learned of the shooting.

“There were people screaming in the emergency room that this wasn’t a drill, to shelter in place,” Horenstein told CNN as he hid in the supply room with a nurse.

Horenstein said he was finally able to leave the supply room after about 90 minutes.

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