MOUNT PLEASANT – A man and a woman died in an apparent murder-suicide at Westchester Medical Center this morning, police said.

Both people, in their 70s, were found shot in a room on the fourth floor of the Valhalla hospital after shots were reported at 9:39 a.m., Westchester County Public Safety Commissioner Tom Gleason said at a press conference outside the hospital. They were pronounced dead later.

Hospital staff had told patients that a man walked into the hospital and shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.

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Three county officers were on the scene within two minutes, as well as hospital security, Gleason said, adding that a .38-caliber revolver, which was registered to the man, was found at the scene. He said the woman was in bed when she was shot, and the man was found shot on the ground.

No one else was in the room when the shooting occurred, Gleason said. The pair’s relationship was not immediately clear, but he said it appeared to be a “family-type situation.”

Their names are not being released until their family members are notified, Gleason said.

There is no ongoing threat to anyone at the hospital, officials said, adding that it was an isolated incident.

Kara Bennorth, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Westchester Medical Center, said “safety and security is paramount” at the hospital. She said a silver alert went out over the hospital’s public address system to alert people about the situation and that there is mandator monthly and annual active shooter training, but she would not elaborate on the hospital’s security protocols.

“I think today they responded appropriately to the incident,” she said of security personnel.

Patients and staff expressed fear and shock over the situation.

Jatziri Escobar, a patient who arrived at the hospital shortly after 9 a.m., said a police officer described the shooting on the fourth floor. Escobar was in a room on the first floor when staff ran through the building alerting patients about the active shooting.

“I was kinda scared, but one of the officers told me to relax and all would be OK,” said Escobar, a 22-year-old Elmsford resident.

Escobar said another patient and nurses were talking about a man who entered the hospital and shot his wife.

“They said he shot his wife and held her hostage, and I was just told he shot himself because he had no way out,” Escobar said, citing the discussions among patients and nurses.

Westchester County police and state police were outside the hospital this morning, blocking the entrance, while workers were seen milling about outside.

“Sometimes family members get a little outraged,” Clarence McMillan, who works at Westchester Medical Center, said outside the hospital as police responded. “They don’t understand the care and stuff we have to go through to help their loved ones survive. Maybe this is one of those situations.”

Westchester Medical Center has a campus at 100 Woods Road, off the Sprain Brook Parkway, including a main hospital with 383 beds. It is the region’s Level 1 Trauma Center, with the only burn unit between New York City and Canada.

“It’s just a few workers of our unit in the building,” Jacqueline Green, who works in the burn center, said outside the hospital. “We were in shock.”

The incident comes 13 months after another shooting at a hospital in the region.

On June 30, 2017, a former staff doctor, Henry Bello, entered Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center with a large box concealing an AR-15 assault rifle, made his way to the 16th floor and began firing.

On the 16th and 17th floors, Bello shot seven people, one fatally, before killing himself. He had been forced to resign from the hospital two years earlier.

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Staff writer Jonathan Bandler contributed to this report.

Twitter: @MattSpillane

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