COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 78-year-old stroke victim was shot to death in her hospital bed, apparently by her husband, who was killed by police at his home later in the day when he ignored warnings to drop his gun, authorities said.
Inge Brown was shot twice in the head Tuesday at Mount Carmel East Hospital (search), Franklin County Coroner Brad Lewis said.
Authorities said her 76-year-old husband, Harry, was believed to be the shooter, and they were investigating whether it was a mercy killing.
"That's what indications are pointing to," spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said Thursday.
Authorities also were attempting to discover why the hospital did not report the shooting for more than an hour Tuesday morning.
When police went to the Browns' apartment, Harry Brown met them on the doorstep with a gun, police said. He and was shot after he ignored officers' warnings to drop the weapon.
Authorities said he left a note at the home that read, "Sorry Officers."
Investigators also found a second gun inside the home, and both were being tested to see whether they were used in the hospital shooting, authorities said.
Hospital staff responded to an alarm at 9:37 a.m. Tuesday indicating that Inge Brown's medical condition had changed, chief operating officer Ronald Whiteside told employees in a taped message.
The senior security manager called 911 more than an hour later, at 10:51 a.m.
No staff or patients heard a shot, hospital spokeswoman Janice Piscitelli said. But aside from that, she could not provide details on the reason for the delay, in part because of patient privacy laws.
"Any time there's a situation when a gun is used, it is always appropriate to contact law enforcement," said Tiffany Himmelreich, spokeswoman for the Ohio Hospital Association (search). "Hospitals aren't immune to that."