Woman killed in NJ hospital shooting
TOMS RIVER (WABC) -- An elderly woman was killed inside a hospital in Toms River, New Jersey, Friday afternoon.
The woman was shot inside a room at the Community Medical Center on Route 37 West just after 12:30 p.m., apparently by her husband, in what appears to be a murder-suicide attempt.
The gunman then turned the weapon on himself.
Toms River police chief Michael Mastronardy said the 88-year-old man was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. Shortly after the shooting occurred, he was airlifted to the trauma center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
It was not immediately clear what the 87-year-old woman was being treated for at the hospital in Toms River. Mastronardy said the couple lived in Holiday City, a retirement community in nearby Berkeley Township.
Mastronardy would not say whether the shootings appeared to be intended as a mercy killing. He said the man was standing by his wife's bedside when he opened fire.
"It's a situation where someone takes ill, and this is a result of that sometimes," Mastronardy said.
Hospital staff immediately placed the facility under a lockdown until police were able to determine that no other patients, visitors or staff were in danger. The lockdown lasted 10 minutes, officials said, and the hospital - which is just west of the Garden State Parkway in Ocean County - reopened shortly after the shooting.
Community Medical Center is a 587-bed acute care hospital, offering area residents world-class medical treatment with the comforts of hometown care, according to its Web site.
WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King
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