Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police: Man Shot Wife at Hospital in Possible Mercy Killing

John Wise, 66. Police photo.

A Massillon, Ohio man is awaiting his wife’s autopsy after authorities say he shot the 65-year-old woman in her hospital bed at Akron General Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit. The results of the autopsy will impact the charges against John Wise, 66. Wise was initially charged with attempted aggravated murder after the Saturday shooting, but following Barbara Wise’s death on Sunday, his charges are expected to be upgraded. According to authorities, Barbara Wise was incapacitated and her husband’s alleged actions may be interpreted as a mercy killing. ”Certainly him wanting to end his wife’s suffering is one of the motives we’re looking into,” said Akron police Captain Dan Zampelli. Details of Barbara Wise’s condition prior to the shooting have not been released, but a prosecutor did confirm that she had been in the ICU in an “extremely disabled state” for several days.

Wise allegedly entered the hospital through the main entrance, keeping a handgun concealed. Weapons are prohibited on hospital property. Police say no one else was in the room when Wise allegedly fired the shot into his wife’s head. He surrendered to security without a struggle immediately after.

A neighbor told the Associated Press that she often saw the Wises working on their garden together in front of their neatly landscaped brick home. During a court appearance today, Wise appeared confused about why he is charged with attempted murder, asking the judge, “is she not dead?” Wise remains in police custody in lieu of $1 million bond.

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