Elderly husband shoots wife in mercy killing, then shoots himself

It's a decision that many may not agree with, nor completely understand.

Tuesday night, an elderly St. Joseph County man shot his wife multiple times and then turned the gun on himself. In this case, police say no foul play was involved and it's a homicide and not murder.

Out of respect for the family and the deceased couple, NewsCenter 16 decided to not release the names of the man and woman involved.

Family members found the couple in their home on Layton Rd., just east of US 331, shortly before 8:30 p.m. St. Joseph County Police as well as County Metro Homicide were called to investigate--as a matter of protocol--and quickly concluded their investigation.

Autopsies conducted Wednesday determined the woman died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, her death was ruled a homicide. Her husband's death was ruled suicide by gunfire. Both victims suffered from numerous health issues, which appeared the be the motivating factors in this mercy killing.

The victims' children told investigators they understand why their parents did this, attributing failing health and agreement to not enter a nursing home.

Officials said the wife's health was rapidly deteriorating and she needed a significant amount of medical assistance.

REAL Services, which helps families with quality of life treatment and programs said more than 80 percent of older adults would rather die than leave their homes for an assisted living facility.

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