September 25, 2017
"If we can't get the help our vets need, this (type of incident) is what it comes down to." Stephanie Hamilton
For Scott Farnsworth, serving a tour in Iraq as an Army infantry soldier was a point of pride.
But it was also the source of the 28-year-old's struggle with mental health, his wife, Stephanie Hamilton, told The Arizona Republic on Sunday.
That struggle led to a deadly encounter with police Friday night, she said, when officers fatally shot Farnsworth near Skyline High School in east Mesa as a football game was letting out.
Officers had responded to reports of Farnsworth waving a gun near Crismon Road and Southern Avenue, according to Mesa Det. Nik Rasheta.
"He was a good person," Hamilton said in a phone interview, describing Farnsworth as a family man and a veteran who loved his country. "But this is what a vet looks like when they don’t get help."
Hamilton declined to share additional details about Farnsworth's service or his mental-health. She said Farnsworth had sought help from the Phoenix VA Health Care System only to have his case fall "by the wayside."
Court records indicate Farnsworth faced assault and disorderly conduct charges in May and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted car theft in August.
"If we can't get the help our vets need, this (type of incident) is what it comes down to," Hamilton said.
The veterans hospital did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday.
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