Lehigh Valley

Patient's husband shoots her, self inside Lehigh Valley Hospital room, officials say

Shooting happened inside hospice unit at 17th and Chew streets

Patient's husband shoots her, self inside hospital room

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Gunfire inside Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown appears to be a case of murder-suicide involving an elderly patient in the hospice unit and her husband, officials said.

The shooting happened shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday in a hospice wing on the 4th floor of the hospital at 17th and Chew streets, officials said.

Witnesses reported hearing the sound of gunshots coming from the room of an elderly hospice patient, identified as Mildred Osman, 83, of Lehigh Twp., Northampton Co., said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin.

The investigation, Martin said, revealed that Osman's husband, Elwood, 86, shot and killed his wife in her hospital bed and then turned the gun on himself.

"This appears to be a discrete incident confined to the fourth floor of the patient's room," said Martin, in a news conference at the hospital about an hour after the shooting.

No other patients were in jeopardy and no one else was injured by the gunfire, Martin said.

"This is a very tragic event, and our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and our Lehigh Valley Health Network colleagues who were involved, " said Chuck Lewis, senior vice president, external affairs for Lehigh Valley Health Network, in a statement released shortly after the incident.

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