An 84-year-old Jacksonville man shot and killed his 84-year-old wife, then shot and killed himself at a park Tuesday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Police said both were suffering from health problems.
Police said that at about 8 a.m., a maintenance worker found the bodies of George and Nancy McCallum lying outside their car near the basketball courts at Glynlea Park on Altama Road on the Southside.
Police said they found two guns and initially believed both deaths may have been suicides, but they later ruled the deaths a murder-suicide.
"It looks like it's isolated between these two individuals, so there's nothing to be concerned about," said Sgt. Dan Janson.
Police said no one else appeared to be involved.
Resident Anita Clare saw what was happening as police arrived. Clare said she woke up earlier than usual for an eye doctor appointment, and she looked out her blinds at the park behind her house and was flabbergasted.
"I saw the car and I then I saw, 'Oh my God, what's that in front of them?' And it was two people and they were on the ground," Clare said.
Clare fell into a chair and when she looked out again, she saw an investigator.
"She walked up and she's bending over the people," Clare said. "I said, 'Oh my God, those people are dead.'"
Dr. Gabe Ybarra, a psychologist, said sometimes elderly people choose to end their lives this way because they may be struggling with the ability to hold on to their sense of integrity.
"'Am I still worthwhile, am I worthless at this moment because I'm no longer working?'" he said of what they may think. "The kids have grown up, they're out of the nest, and perhaps there's an accumulation of health difficulties. It's at that point where our work and our value is now different. It's hard for a lot of folks to wrap their mind around that."
Ybarra said people should look out for warning signs.
"If you see your parents or an elderly acquaintance starting to withdrawal, surrender things, possessions, show signs of low mood, check in with them," he said. "They may be from a generation where they didn't seek services. You may be better aware of what's available for them in terms of help."