WASHINGTON TERRACE -- When reconstructing his officer-assisted suicide, it seems Jeffrey Lynn Foote did not want to hurt anyone, except himself.
But brandishing a gun to his own head for as long as 10 minutes left Weber County sheriff's deputies few options as they negotiated with him on the sideyard of his parents' home where he lived.
Before that, in what is essentially his last will and testament, the transcript of Foote's roughly seven-minute 911 call speaks volumes.
"I don't want you to help me," he told the dispatcher in the call that began at 12:44 a.m. "I just want you to know that I am going to blow my head off right now. So that is where I am at."
He talked of having written goodbye letters to friends, relatives, even the judge in the 2nd District Mental Health Court in Ogden he had just been admitted to a few weeks earlier after his fourth arrest in 17 years, a meth bust in Riverdale.
"Hon, death is just another option," he told the earnest dispatcher halfway through the call.
And toward the end: "So, I'm looking for the cops to come, and they are not here yet because I'm waiting for them to shoot me."
Without detailing his diagnosis, a mental health court staffer and a family member said Foote, 39, had been dependent on prescription medications for most of his adult life.
The Weber County Attorney's Office ruled as justified the May 25 fatal shooting of Foote by a sheriff's deputy, calling it a case of officer-assisted suicide.
Foote was talking to three assembled sheriff's deputies the same way he was talking to the dispatcher, according to Weber County Attorney Dee Smith's "findings of fact and conclusions of law" letter to Sheriff Terry Thompson clearing Deputy John Millaway in the shooting.
Foote held his Ruger .380 handgun to his neck or head throughout the negotiations with the officers, Smith's letter said.
Millaway killed him with a single shot to the neck after Foote fired a single shot in the direction of the deputy, Eric Wadman, who had been leading the conversations with Foote for at least 10 minutes, Smith's findings said.
Wadman was not hit.
"While Deputy Wadman was negotiating with Mr. Foote, other officers including Deputy John Millaway arrived on the scene," Smith wrote.
"Deputy Millaway has a Colt AR15. He laid on the ground behind a tree with the weapon focused on Mr. Foote who at this point was sitting on the ground with the gun to his head."
In brief remarks, Smith said what Millaway went through -- suicide by cop -- is an officer's worst nightmare.
Smith's chief civil deputy, Dave Wilson, who evaluates media Government Records Access and Management Act requests, authorized release of the 911-call transcript.
But he declined to release the audiotape of Foote's call. He cited sensitivity to the family, saying he promised Foote's parents they wouldn't have to hear the audio. The Standard-Examiner is appealing the decision, for at least the purposes of verifying the transcript.
Thompson and his public information officer, sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther, said most officers will be part of an attempted or completed officer-assisted suicide during their careers. It's covered in police journals and police academies, they said.
"Most cops have been there," Thompson said, adding he was on the scene of two such attempts. "You have those memories the rest of our lives, not just to the end of our careers. Most live with it well."
Lowther said he knows of two officers who went through the ordeal and struggled. "They stayed in the profession but never returned to field work."
Thompson knows of an officer who resigned afterward and is now in a related field.
Lowther was a negotiator with a suicidal woman on the North Ogden Divide in April 2010. The road was closed for more than three hours while officers tried to counsel the distraught pistol-waving woman who left her car at the side of the road.
"She never put the gun on us, but she kept begging us to shoot her," Lowther said. "She stared me right in the eyes and begged me to shoot her."
She never explained her troubles, he said, and eventually shot herself fatally. He declined to share much more.
Of the three deputies most involved with Foote -- Millaway, Wadman and Sgt. Bob Johnson -- Thompson said, "They're all doing great, seem to be doing very well."
He wouldn't comment on whether the deputies took advantage of the free trauma counseling the sheriff's office offers, as do most police forces.
But the three have declined to be interviewed.
"It's just a little too raw still, too soon," Thompson said.
In the transcript, Foote complained of his treatment during his brief entry into the mental health court, a span of less than a month. He particularly flares at Weber Human Services, which staffs the court with counselors.
His mother, Linda, also has concerns with the direction her son's treatment had taken as his medications were adjusted.
Even though her son's time in the mental health court was just beginning, she said, she felt the system failed him, the change to his medications "undermining the great work that is done by the court and Judge Noel Hyde ..."
"Even minute changes in medications can have huge impacts."
Kevin Eastman, director of the private treatment center that contracts with numerous government agencies, said he couldn't comment on Foote's case directly because of confidentially concerns and privacy laws, or the review his staffers went through after his death.
"We want to emphasize, we have provided quality services for almost 40 years here and only have seasoned, tenured workers in our crisis intervention unit," he said.
The agency is also one of only a handful in the state that provides crisis intervention training for law enforcement and other government agencies, he said.
The cases obviously affect others besides officers.
Kathleen Strebel, operations director for Weber Consolidated Dispatch, said the task of transcribing Foote's 911 call brought back the two suicides she tried to talk down during her 25-year emergency dispatching career.
Both were what she called "nonselfish" suicides. One was 13 years ago.
"He shot himself while I was talking to him on the phone. He had sent his wife to the store. He was going to kill himself, and he wanted the officers to be there before she came back, so she wouldn't walk in on it."
The other was 20 years ago, Strebel said. "He would only tell me he had just been diagnosed as incurable."
He had sent his wife on a vacation trip and written letters to his children, hoping they'd understand, Strebel said, and wanted officials to clean up the mess he knew the gunshot would make.
"He was thinking of everyone else. He put his head over a drain, and a pillow over his head. Little things like that stay with you forever."
Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister.