Hospital Official Calls Murder-Suicide A 'Mercy Killing'

Hospital Official Calls Murder-Suicide A 'Mercy Killing'

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Police Authorities say an elderly man shot and killed his terminally ill wife and then committed suicide inside her 4th floor room Tuesday. Police Authorities say an elderly man shot and killed his terminally ill wife and then committed suicide inside her 4th floor room Tuesday.
LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. -

A "mercy killing" is how Lehigh Valley Hospital officials describe the murder-suicide inside a hospice unit Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities say an elderly man shot and killed his terminally ill wife and then committed suicide inside her 4th floor room. Hospital staff reported hearing two gun shots. When they went into the room they found 83-year-old Mildred Osman dead in her hospital bed and the body of her husband, 86-year-old Elwood Osman.

"It's a love story" said James Geiger, senior Vice President of the hospital.

"The elderly gentleman could not bear to see his wife suffering, and the family, I believe, have observed that he just could not envision living without her."

Patients were still coming in and out of the hospital shortly after the shooting.

The facility was never evacuated because officials said no patients or staff members were harmed or threatened.

"They didn't say anything to us" Elsa Reyes, who had a doctor's appointment about an hour after the shooting, told FOX 29.

Reyes and many other patients had no idea there was a shooting until they saw the crowd of TV news trucks outside. Some raised concerns about security and metal detectors.

"I feel scared to come to the hospital. You know there's no security. I feel so sad for them" said Reyes.

The Osmans lived in the quiet Cherryville community of Northampton County. Neighbors say the couple was rarely seen, except a few weeks ago when an ambulance came to take Mildred to the hospital.

"I couldn't believe this happened so close to my house. A couple doors down. I heard she had cancer and was terminally ill" said neighbor Mark Flanagan.

It is not known if a note was found. An autopsy on both bodies is scheduled for Wednesday.

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