Carson City, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com)- Sunday’s shooting at the Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center is reportedly a failed murder-suicide, according to statements made by the suspect in an arrest report.
The suspect and victim were husband and wife of 63 years, and it is turning into an investigation that is walking a delicate line between love and the law.
"..a gun and four bullets, two for his wife and then two for him."
This is what 88-year-old William Dresser told deputies after allegedly shooting his wife, Frances, once in the chest, as she lay alone in her hospital bedroom. It was an apparent attempt to kill himself and his wife after she was paralyzed in an accident about two weeks ago and no longer wished to live, according to an arrest report that continues to describe how the gun jammed after the first shot.
For an elderly couple who has been married for more than 60 years, the details of the report seem to suggest a type of mercy killing, but Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong is not calling it that.
"We're not suggesting the term ‘mercy killing’. At least not as of yet," he says.
The Carson City Sheriff's Office is still confirming the details of the arrest report.
"While the statements may have been made, or information may have been gained in that direction,” says Furlong, “It's up to the investigators to determine the true motive behind the shooting."
Whatever the motive, even if fueled by love, Dresser faces a charge of attempted murder plus an elderly enhancement which carries a harsher sentence if convicted.
"There is no justification for shooting another person. So whatever his motive, whatever his intention in his mind was, that is not justification for taking another person's life," says Furlong.
In the eyes of the law, attempted murder is just that, but for investigators it's a difficult case to handle.
“Here you have an elderly couple. [They’ve] been married over 60 years. [They have] no criminal history whatsoever. Just great folks,” says Furlong. “There's no reason for this to have happened, but that it did.
Dresser is under suicide watch and is cooperating with investigators. His wife's injuries are considered life-threatening as she receives treatment at Renown.