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Murder, suicide in Mahwah shootings by 82-year-old husband

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST (11:10 a.m.): An 82-year-old Mahwah man who shot and killed his wife this morning died after shooting himself in the head, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT moments ago. The weapon: a .38-caliber revolver, CVP has learned.

30 Polo Lane, Mahwah

Harry Ellis shot his 79-year-old wife, Barbara, a retired school nurse who used to work at Fort Lee High School, just after 8 a.m., as CLIFFVIEW PILOT originally reported.

The couple are formerly of Cliffside Park. Both were pronounced dead shortly after 10:30 a.m.

“There’s an element of tragedy to this,” Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT just after 11 a.m., explaining that both were in failing health.

Mahwah police were called and immediately summoned the Bergen County Police Department SWAT team.

They surrounded the 5,900-square-foot house at 30 Polo Lane — off Route 287 and barely a mile from the New York border — and brought Barbara Ellis to a nearby hospital with a bullet wound to the head.

She was last known in critical condition, until word came from Molinelli at 11:08 a.m.

A source with direct knowledge told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that Ellis, an amateur ham radio operator who was unable to attend recent meetings of like-minded amatuers because of failing health, called their 42-year-old daughter from inside the home during this morning’s incident.

The daughter then called police with the security code to get in through the garage.

They found Barbara Ellis in front of a computer in a connected office. She apparently was unaware of her husband’s intent.

His body was found in the backyard, on top of the gun, they said.

Members of the BCPD’s Emergency Trauma Response Team, including Dr. John Locurto of Hackensack University Medical Center and and medics Fred Emmer and Eric Harvey, began treating Ellis immediately after he shot himself and on the way to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y.

His wife was pronounced dead on arrival at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood a short time earlier.

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