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Man Shoots, Kills Wife in Hospital Bed, Then Himself; Said In Note He Wanted to End Her Suffering: Police

In a note left at their home, Richard DeLucia said he was distraught over his wife's medical issues and wanted to end her suffering

What to Know

  • A man shot and killed his wife in her hospital bed at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla Wednesday morning, then himself, police say
  • Both were in their 70s; police say the man left a note at their home indicating he wanted to end his wife's suffering from medical issues
  • It's not clear what she was being treated for; the hospital treats more than 120,000 patients each year in every clinical specialty

A 71-year-old man walked into Westchester Medical Center Wednesday morning and opened fire in a fourth-floor room, killing his wife in her bed before taking his own life inside the 652-bed hospital in Valhalla, officials say. 

The pair has been identified as Richard DeLucia and Ann DeLucia, 70, a married couple from Yorktown. Each died of single gunshot wound. 

In a note left at their home, Richard DeLucia said he was distraught over his wife's medical issues and wanted to end her suffering. 

It wasn't clear why Ann DeLucia was being treated at the hospital on Woods Road. She was found shot in her hospital bed. The gunfire was confined to her room and the situation was under control quickly. 

They were the only ones in the hospital room at the time and no one else was hurt. A 0.38-caliber revolver authorities say was used in the shooting was recovered at the scene.  

Richard DeLucia had once owned a well-known Westchester catering hall, the Westchester Manor, called the Manor House during his time, current co-owner Enrico Mareschi said. Although DeLucia sold the venue to another owner roughly 15 years ago, he still came by occasionally until two to three years ago, Mareschi said.

"He was a nice guy," Mareschi said. "He really was a good person."

At the couple's condo building in Yorktown Heights, neighbors absorbed the news with dismay.

"Everybody's just shocked," resident Valeria Tassone said, adding that she had no insight into what was going on in the couple's life.

Ground footage from the hospital shooting scene showed the huge facility crawling with law enforcement officers, yellow police tape cordoning off the scene.

News 4 spoke with Joel Brown who was working in the burns unit when he found out about the shooting. "I look outside the window of the burns unit and I saw a whole lot of nurses and doctors running outside on their cellphones," he said.

His colleague said she didn't hear an announcement about the shooting over the loudspeaker, rather she heard from a co-worker that there was an active shooter in the hospital. "We were in shock," she said.

Questioned about the response at a briefing Wednesday, authorities said three officers, one uniformed and two in plainclothes, were at the scene within 2 minutes. Authorities called it an "unfortunate incident," but said "the active shooter training and response was exactly the way it should be." 

How the man got the weapon inside remains under investigation. Officials said there are no comprehensive searches of hospital visitors, but noted they have armed security posted at every entrance to the building. 

According to the hospital's website, Westchester Medical Center treats more than 120,000 patients each year in every clinical specialty. It has six primary centers, including the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. It's sprawling regional network serves the Hudson Valley and beyond, employing about 7,000 healthcare professionals including 1,200 physicians across its network. 

Wednesday marked the second hospital shooting in New York in a bit more than a year. In June 2017, a doctor and former Bronx-Lebanon Hospital employee walked into his ex-hospital and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, killing a doctor and wounding five members of the medical staff and a patient before taking his life.

He was allegedly bent on revenge, angry over accusations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct made against him by a female employee.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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