A 94-year-old has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder after he allegedly shot his 80-year-old wife, who he told police suffered from dementia.
Wayne Juhlin confessed to police in Sarasota County, Fla., that he wished to end the woman's life when he shot her inside their residence on Monday, NBC News reported.
Juhlin also told authorities that "he intended on turning the gun on himself and taking his own life after killing his wife, but the gun malfunctioned."
The 94-year-old called police to confess to the crime on Tuesday, informing them that his wife's dementia was what motivated him to carry out the murder.
"A lot of people feel guilty about putting their spouse into a memory care unit and they try to do it alone," Danielle Valery, the program director at Florida's Memory Clinic, told the Sarasota Harold-Tribune. “So we see caregivers becoming physically sick because of the daily stress of trying to bathe them, clothe them, feed them, brush their teeth, help them in the bathroom."
Juhlin and his wife lived together in Aston Gardens at Pelican Pointe, an independent senior living facility. It's unclear how long the couple been married or how long Juhlin's wife had suffered from dementia.
Florida is home to the second-largest number of people with dementia — only behind California — with 540,000, Valery told the Sarasota Harold-Tribune.
"In light of yesterday's tragedy, we want our community to know there are resources available for memory disorders. You are never alone and there are many people that can help," the Venice Police Department tweeted in response to Juhlin's arrest, along with a list of elder resources available in the area.
Juhlin is currently being held in prison without bail and is awaiting arraignment on Nov. 22.