A husband and wife were killed Wednesday in an apparent murder-suicide at Westchester Medical Center.
Richard DeLucia, 71, used a licensed revolver and fired a single shot at his wife, 70-year-old Ann DeLucia, in her fourth-floor hospital room before turning the gun on himself, reports Fox News. No one else was in the room at the time of the shootings.
In a note found at their home, DeLucia wrote that he was distraught over his wife’s medical issues and wanted to end her suffering, said Westchester County police spokesman Kieran O’Leary. It is unclear what his wife was being treated for at Valhalla, N.Y., facility.
It is still unknown how the man got the weapon inside the hospital. Officials said there are no comprehensive searches of hospital visitors, but noted there are armed security officers at every entrance to the building, according to NBC New York.
Security is handled by a third-party company, which provides unarmed officers and some armed supervisors with law enforcement backgrounds.
The medical center was briefly placed on lockdown as authorities investigated the shooting. Police said hospital security staff responded immediately and three officers were at the scene within two minutes.
Dr. Srihari Naidu, an interventional cardiologist at the hospital, said he was in his office at a nearby building when he received an active shooter alert, followed by a lockdown notification that lasted for about 30 minutes.
Hospital employees were praised for warning patients and visitors that there was an active shooter alert.
“They just made sure the patients were secured — they shut all the doors. They did what they had to do,” said Hope Conley, who was visiting her father-in-law at the time of the shooting. Conley said hospital staffers quickly resumed their work after the lockdown was lifted and her father-in-law went into surgery shortly after.
Westchester Medical, which has six primary centers, treats an estimated 120,000 patients each year and has around 7,000 employees.
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