updated 9/21/2009 3:34:53 PM ET 2009-09-21T19:34:53

California authorities say a 90-year-old man will likely be booked on a murder charge after he shot his bedridden wife, allegedly to end her suffering, then tried to kill himself.

Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino says James Fish was in critical condition Monday after shooting himself in the head, but he's alert and able to speak. Amormino says Fish will be arrested if he survives.

Amormino says Fish shot 88-year-old Phyllis Fish in the head Sunday afternoon at the Leisure World retirement community in Laguna Woods.

Amormino says Fish's wife was under hospice care but he didn't know the nature of her illness. She had a full-time caretaker, who called 911 after the shooting.

A handgun was recovered at the home.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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