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Kevorkian Supporter Kills Wife, Self

A 79-year-old man who was dying of cancer fatally shot his wife and then himself, police said.

“It’s tragic,” Tacoma police spokesman Jim Mattheis said Tuesday. “It does not appear she was a willing participant.”

The couple’s son, Gary Gillen, 45, who lived with his parents, told police he heard two gunshots early Tuesday morning. He reported finding his parents in bed, with their heads bloody and his father holding a revolver.

Both parents were taken to Madigan Army Medical Center. Gillen’s father was pronounced dead about 45 minutes after the 3 a.m. shooting; his mother died later Tuesday.

Their identities were not released.

Gillen told officers his father had been acting strangely the past few weeks, accusing Gillen’s mother of having extramarital affairs and of trying to put him into a nursing home.

He also was a supporter of Jack Kevorkian, the retired Michigan pathologist known for helping terminally ill people commit suicide, Gillen said.

“Dad had cancer and he was sick and scared of dying alone,” he said.