BOUNTIFUL -- A judge found a man who shot himself in the neck and then engaged police in a four-hour standoff guilty of two felonies and four misdemeanors.
Judge Glen C. Dawson's verdict on the charges against Brian Ray Skidmore followed a one-day bench trial Thursday in 2nd District Court.
Dawson set April 16 for a sentencing hearing for the 51-year-old North Salt Lake man.
Skidmore's attorney, Scott Sanders, asked Dawson to consider reducing the two third-degree felonies to class A misdemeanors at sentencing.
Dawson requested Sanders and Deputy Davis County Attorney Brandon Poll to prepare motions concerning the request.
Skidmore was found guilty on felony counts of discharge of a firearm and failure to respond to an officer's signal; one count of threatening with or use of a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel, a class A misdemeanor; carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol, interference with an arresting officer and discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, all class B misdemeanors.
Skidmore testified he has suffered from depression and alcoholism for a number of years.
On July 22, 2012, which was a Sunday, he decided "Today is a good day to die," he said.
He left his home with a 12-gauge shotgun and a box of shells. He stopped at a convenience store near his home and bought a case of beer. He drove to the Harrison Duck Club, but parked his car in the industrial area near the airport.
"There was still doubt, so I decided to drink and think about it," Skidmore said.
At some point, an officer approached his car and asked him if he was OK.
Skidmore said yes, but the officer saw the beer and the shotgun and asked Skidmore to get out of the car.
"I said no," Skidmore said.
The officer asked him to turn off his car.
"I said no and took off," Skidmore said.
Asked why he drove away, Skidmore said, "I had the gun sitting next to me and beer next to me. I knew I was in trouble."
Skidmore parked his car at the duck club. He decided it was time to shoot himself and fired a test round across the pond. He did not know that a man was in the area and thought Skidmore was shooting at him.
The man reported the shooting to 911. Skidmore then held the shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger but at the same time, "I flinched," he said.
Skidmore said he does not know why he flinched, but the shot grazed his neck, knocking him to the ground and causing him to bleed profusely.
He said he believed he shot half his face off and decided to finish himself off.
That is when a BearCat tactical vehicle and a helicopter with search lights found him.
Skidmore said he then got back into his car and climbed in the back seat.
He knew the officers wanted him to come out of the car, he said, but he had a hard time hearing them because of losing hearing in his right ear as a result of the shotgun blast, the helicopter parking behind him with its rotors on and his drinking 12 beers in four hours.
After a lengthy standoff, tear gas rounds were fired into Skidmore's vehicle, but he refused to comply with law enforcement, officers said in court.
A police dog was used to assist in removing Skidmore from his car. Skidmore said when the dog latched onto his arm, "I literally thought he was going to rip my arm off."
Skidmore was treated at the scene for the gunshot wound and then flown to the University of Utah Medical Center.