Distraught family members of a suicidal Eagle Point man shot by police Sunday say Dan Waggoner was depressed and desperate but not a danger to others.

Distraught family members of a suicidal Eagle Point man shot by police Sunday say Dan Waggoner was depressed and desperate but not a danger to others.

"I was there the whole time. He had a nervous breakdown. He just needed some help and they shot him up," said Amy Brown, the mother of three of Waggoner's seven children.

Deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call placed by Brown at the 1100 block of Dahlia Terrace at 3:40 p.m. Sunday and shot him when he exited his home and refused to put down his gun.

He was in critical condition today at Rogue Valley Medical Center after surgery for the gunshot wounds Sunday.

Brown, who no longer lives with Waggoner, had driven to his house when she heard gunfire from the home. Waggoner had threatened to commit suicide over the breakup of their 5-year relationship and the pending foreclosure on the property, she said.

"He'd told me 'They can take my house and they can my body with it,' " said Brown. "I heard a shot and I thought he did it. I was calling 9-1-1 as I was running. I got him to come out. And he did put the gun to his head."

Deputies were told by Brown that Waggoner was suicidal and armed with a shotgun and other weapons — including a hand grenade, said Sheriff Mike Winters. Jackson County's SWAT team and negotiators, Oregon State Police and Shady Cove police were called. Waggoner fired shots at the SWAT armored carrier. A deputy shot Waggoner after the armed man fled his home following a two-hour standoff when Waggoner failed to comply with the deputy's orders, said Winters.

"He was clearly instructed on multiple occasions to put down the weapon," he said.

The negotiator's approach didn't work, Brown said.

"SWAT ended up going up the driveway. Dan called me, he said, 'Amy, get SWAT out of here or I'm gonna die'. Dan was scared. He couldn't rationalize," she said.

Ruth McCall has a 9-year-old son with Dan Waggoner. She, too, spoke with Waggoner earlier in the standoff. Waggoner was calm during their conversation, she said.

"He said he was in a standoff with the sheriff's department," said McCall. "He said him and Amy had gotten into a domestic. He was really calm. He said this would all blow over. It was the last thing he said to me."

Both women said Waggoner is a good father but prone to fits of rage where he throws things or breaks inanimate objects. But he has never physically hurt anyone — and the standoff was never a hostage situation, they insist.

"Dan just had one of his flip-out moments," McCall said. "He couldn't handle not having Amy and the kids in his life. He let things escalate to a point where he couldn't turn back and he didn't know what to do."

Winters said calls involving the mentally ill are increasing. Of the 30 sheriffs' units working Sunday, 28 were assigned to suicide calls throughout Jackson County. These types of calls create a dangerous situation not only for the deputies, but for the individual as well, Winters said.

"We deal with this on a daily basis," said Winters. "The last thing we want to do is get involved in a use of force issue. It's difficult on the officers that are involved, and on the families that are involved."

The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave while a full investigation by the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit ensues.

— Sanne Specht