Visitors to Volusia County Halifax Health Medical Center are formally required to pass through a metal detector before entering the building.
Hospital officials said they were already discussing installing the detectors, but accelerated the installation after police said a woman shot and killed her terminally ill husband about five miles away Saturday at AdventHealth’s Daytona Beach.
The hospital system has also increased security measures at hospital entrances, including luggage checks for all visitors. Visitors are already required to show ID and check-in at the front desk to enter the hospital.
In the coming months, Halifax Health will install X-ray machines to more quickly scan guests for weapons and other prohibited items.
“Unfortunately, this is the new world we live in,” chief operating officer Alberto Tineo told local media.
Following the 2014 medical center shooting, plans were made to increase security at all Halifax Health facilities. Metal detectors were installed when Deltona Hospital opened three years ago. The hospital last year approved the addition of similar measures at other sites.
As of Wednesday, AdventHealth had not announced any added safety measures.
Police have released information about Saturday’s shooting and its aftermath, which took place on the floor of AdventHealth’s terminally ill patient in Daytona Beach.
Ellen Gilland, 76, shot and killed her terminally ill husband Jerry, 77, in a planned murder-suicide before killing herself, investigators said. But after shooting him in the head in the 11th-floor ward, she couldn’t do the rest.
Instead, Gilland, still armed, confronted police for four hours before they were able to use non-lethal explosives to distract and take her into custody.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said the couple made the plan three weeks ago. During one conversation, he said, they decided that if Jerry Gillander’s condition worsened, “he wanted her to end this.”
“Obviously the goal was to get him to do it, but he didn’t have the strength, so she had to do it,” Yang said.
So they turned to “murder-suicide where she would kill herself,” the police chief said. “But she decided she couldn’t take it.”
After hearing gunshots from Room 1106, two hospital workers walked in and saw Alan Gillan sitting on the edge of the bed, her husband lying unresponsive in a pool of blood. She pointed the weapon at the two men and told them to leave the room, which smelled of burnt gunpowder, according to a police report. Another staff member also entered and was told to leave at gunpoint.
Employees then reportedly began evacuating nearby rooms. The police chief called it a “logistical nightmare” because most of the patients on the 11th floor were on ventilators.
When the police arrived, they lined up in the hallway with their guns pointed at the open door of room 1106. The officer repeatedly yelled, “Put the gun down!”, according to video recorded by a camera on an officer’s body about 10 minutes after the shooting.
“Tell me what happened. We don’t want to hurt you,” an officer yelled. Another told a colleague, “Back up. Back up. We have time. We have nothing but time.”
About four hours later, members of the SWAT team used a non-lethal explosive device to distract Alan Gillan and enter the room. They tried to use the stun gun but failed to subdue her and she fired a shot into the ceiling. She then dropped her weapon and was taken into custody, the police report said.
Gilland was charged Monday with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of aggression with intent to kill with a deadly weapon and remains in prison without bail. Her court-appointed public defender did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
“This is a tragic situation,” the police chief said, “because it just goes to show that none of us are immune to life’s trials and tribulations.”
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