VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police said a man shot his wife and then himself in an apparent murder-suicide at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
Police said around 9: 39 a.m. Wednesday, they received a call about a report of shots fired in a room on the fourth floor at the main hospital.
Hospital security immediately responded to the scene along with police, who arrived within two minutes.
That’s when police said they found two gunshot victims, a man and a woman both in their 70s, inside the room and a .38-caliber revolver on the floor.
“Unfortunately, both were later pronounced dead,” Westchester County Police Commissioner Thomas Gleason said. “At this time, it appears to be a murder-suicide situation.”
The couple was later identified as 71-year-old Richard DeLucia and 70-year-old Ann DeLucia, of Yorktown.
Gleason said the wife, a patient at the hospital, was found in a bed. He said the husband, a visitor, was found on the floor.
“Medical personnel responded immediately as well and started working on the two victims, but unfortunately both were later pronounced dead,” said Gleason.
“It should be stressed this is an isolated incident. There is no threat to other hospital staff, other patients or to the community,” he added.
The Westchester County executive’s office said police found a note at the couple’s home, in which the husband indicated he was distraught over his wife’s medical issues and wanted to end her suffering.
For the past two years, the DeLucias have lived in an apartment with a heart shaped wreath on the door. Neighbors and friends from their adult community in Yorktown say they’re simply shattered by their deaths.
“Oh, I’m so sad it was them,” said friend Margo Peters. “It’s a jolt, it really is.”
The couple often seen taking walks and going shopping together was found dead after gunshots were heard coming from Ann’s room. Visitors and staff at the hospital were told to shelter in place as police investigated.
“I just saw a bunch of police officers running through the first floor, I guess going up to the fourth floor,” patient Jatziri Escobar told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
“The warning that there was active shooter in the building,” hospital worker Jacqueline Green said. “That’s what we heard.”
“I never expected something like this to happen at the medical center,” said hospital worker Joel Brown.
Hospital officials said they have active shooter training for all their staff members. It is mandatory once a year and they offer refreshers and updates once a month, Aiello reported.
“We have armed security 24/7 on the campus. Our staff are trained in safety and security measures in ways to safeguard themselves, as well as our patients and our visitors,” hospital administrator Kara Bennorth said.
At the 625-bed hospital, visitors are asked to show ID but, as at most hospitals, checks of bags and belongings are not routine.