Visitors to Halifax Health Medical Center in Volusia County must go through metal detectors before entering the building.
Hospital officials had earlier discussed installing investigators, but accelerated the installation after the police spoke out. A woman shot and killed her terminally ill husband Saturday at AdventHealth Daytona Beach, five miles away.
The hospital system has increased security measures at the entrance of the hospital, including bag control for all visitors. Visitors must show identification in advance and check in at the front desk to enter the hospital.
In the coming months, Halifax Health will install X-ray machines that will quickly scan guests for firearms and other prohibited items.
“Unfortunately, this is the new way of the world we live in,” Chief Operating Officer Alberto Tineo told local media.
In the year After the 2014 shooting at the medical center, plans were made to increase security at all Halifax health facilities. Metal detectors were installed at Deltona Hospital when it opened three years ago. And the hospital last year approved expanding similar measures to other locations.
AdventHealth has not announced any additional security measures as of Wednesday.
Police announced Saturday’s shooting and its aftermath on the inpatient floor of Advent Health Daytona Beach.
76-year-old Ellen Gilland shot and killed her terminally ill husband, Jerry, 77, and then killed herself, investigators said. But after being shot in the head in an 11th-floor hospital room, she couldn’t make it through the rest.
Instead, Gillland, still armed, had a four-hour standoff with police until officers were able to use a non-lethal explosive device to distract her and take her into custody.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jacari Young said the couple hatched the plan three weeks ago. During an interview, he said they decided that if Jerry Gilland’s illness worsened, he “wanted you to stop this.”
“Apparently the goal was for him to do it, but he didn’t have the strength so she had to enforce it,” Young said.
So he turned to “suicidal murder,” the police chief said. But she decided she couldn’t go through with it.
After hearing gunshots from room 1106, two hospital staff entered and found Ellen Gilland with her husband sitting unresponsive by the bed in a pool of blood. She pointed the weapon at the couple and told them to leave the room, which smelled of burning gunpowder, according to the police report. Another worker came in and was told to get out with a gun.
The crew then began evacuating people from nearby rooms, the report said. The police chief called it a “logistical nightmare” because most of the patients on the 11th floor were on ventilators.
After officers arrived, they lined the hallway with guns drawn to the open door to room 1106. “Drop the gun!”, according to video captured by the officer’s body camera 10 minutes after the shooting. They shouted again and again.
“Tell me what’s going on. We don’t want to hurt you,” shouted an officer. Another said to a colleague, “Back up. Make a backup. We’ve got time. We got nothing but time.”
Four hours later, SWAT team members entered the room using a non-lethal explosive device to distract Ellen Gilland. They try to use a stun gun but it fails to stop her and she fires a shot at the ceiling. She then dropped the weapon and entered the jail, according to the police report.
Gilland was charged Monday with first-degree murder and first-degree murder with intent to murder and is being held without bond. The court-appointed public defender did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
The police chief said, “This is a sad situation because it shows that none of us are immune to life’s trials and tribulations.”
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