Akron police Capt. Dan Zampelli told the Akron Beacon Journal that Saturday night's shooting of Barbara Wise of Massillon may have been an attempted mercy killing.
"It seems to be slanting that way. He wanted to take away her suffering," Zampelli told the newspaper.
Wise and her husband, John, have been married 45 years.
She remained in critical condition Sunday night at Akron General Medical Center.
Jim Gosky, a spokesman for the medical center, said one shot was fired and security officers reached the ICU in about one minute. A doctor was in a nearby room.
Gosky said privacy rules prevent release of details why Wise had been admitted to the ICU a few days earlier.
Police said her husband is being held on an attempted murder charge and is expected to be arraigned Monday.