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Man held in wife's shooting at Castle


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POSTED: Thursday, December 10, 2009

A 71-year-old Kailua man remained in police custody last night, accused of shooting his wife at close range with a flare gun as she lay in her bed at Castle Medical Center.

The man walked into his wife's room at the Kailua hospital about 6:10 p.m. Tuesday, allegedly carrying a loaded gun, police said. He stood next to her and allegedly fired the gun.

The wife, 71, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, police said.

The gun turned out to be a plastic survivor flare gun with a 12-gauge spent shotgun shell, police said. When the man fired the gun, it exploded, causing the pellets to fly throughout the room, police said.

Hospital staff stopped the husband as he left the room, and security detained him until police arrived.

He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder, but was not charged yesterday.

Police did not provide a possible motive.

Castle officials issued a statement saying they review the hospital's security procedures regularly.

“;As with any crisis situation like this, security procedures will again be reviewed,”; the statement said. “;Police assured us that we do not need to be concerned for our safety based on this single incident. However, we are fully aware and always vigilant that the safety of our patients, visitors and staff remain top priority.”;

The officials said they have been cooperating and working with police, but cannot release more information due to the ongoing investigation and at the family's request.

“;We want to acknowledge the hospital security officers and our clinical staff for their rapid and effective response to this incident,”; the hospital said.

The hospital has made counselors available to the affected nursing unit staff and provided the family with support and assistance, officials said.