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Experts say 'suicide by cop' possible motive in TRAX standoff death

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Sep. 28, 2012 at 10:09 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was killed in a standoff Thursday night after he claimed to be carrying an explosive device may have seen the conflict as a last resort, psychological experts say.

While those who knew Andrew Mayhew, 39, best say they never expected he could do anything like this, psychological experts KSL spoke with Friday say he knew the consequences long before he took action.

"I think a lot of times people feel they are painted into a corner and don't have any options," said crisis intervention specialist Don Fennimore.

He says many times, those suffering from mental illness or depression can be helped early on, but by the time it reaches the point of physical harm to yourself or others, it can be too late.

When looking at Mayhew's actions, Fennimore says 'suicide by cop' is a very real possibility for Mayhew's motive.

"There is a lot of evidence that would suggest that that was his intention all along," Fennimore said.

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A longtime girlfriend said she spoke with Mayhew on Tuesday, though they had not seen one another in 10 years. At a court hearing to dismiss protective custody, Brenda Monik says Anthony Mayhew pulled her aside. The two have an 11-year-old daughter together.

"He caught me on the way out and just apologized for everything in the past and that he was just really sorry, and to tell the girls that he loved them, and that he was going to try to make everything right," Monik said.

She said their relationship ended 10 years ago as Mayhew fought a battle with his temper and drugs.

When she got the call Friday morning that Mayhew had been shot and killed by police after threatening them with an explosive device, she was beyond words.

"I'm really just not believing that this has happened," Monik said.

She consoled her daughter at school today and consoled herself. Monik says Mayhew was family-oriented. He was close with his own family and loved his daughters.

"Maybe just something snapped, I don't know," Monik said.

We found records that another woman also had a protective custody order against Mayhew, related to a second child of his. She was unavailable for comment.

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Andrew Wittenberg

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