A MAN called 999 to warn police that he was going to shoot himself in his garden.

When the call handler asked him what type of gun he was going to use, he replied ‘you are just trying to keep me talking’ before pulling the trigger.

He spoke with police for one minute and 30 seconds where he said his name was Eddie Webb and that he ‘couldn’t stand any more pain’.

Armed police raced to his house in Green Close, Didcot, and after a search of the property found him in the garden already dead.

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A police officer confirmed the news at around 2.45pm – more than an hour after Mr Webb’s initial call on February 3.

A post mortem has since revealed he died of a gun shot wound to his head.

He also had other injuries like fractures which were in keeping with the desperate attempts to save his life with CPR.

At an inquest on Wednesday at Oxford Coroners Court, the assistant coroner for the county, Nicholas Graham, said the 77-year-old retired car valeter had lived at his home with his wife and son.

He had walked the dog in the morning and was expected to pick up his wife up from her appointment at the hairdressers that afternoon.

But a statement from his wife said that when she called the house phone at 1.30pm, her son had answered instead.

She said it was ‘unusual’ and that he didn’t know where his dad was.

She walked back from the salon instead and when she returned the house was ‘surrounded by police’.

She said: “He had a shotgun licence that he used to kill rabbits and vermin and kept the guns in a cabinet in the loft. I didn’t know where the key was kept.

“He also had an air rifle that he used to shoot rabbits in the garden.”

Another statement from the police officer in charge of the operation said that armed officers had been told to lower their guns when they saw a male with ‘clear difficulties’ walking towards the door ‘looking scared and confused’.

The police officer also said he saw member of the public walking towards the house ‘extremely distressed’.

This turned out to be Ms Webb who told police her husband and son were inside.

Police stood down from an a emergency search of the house when an officer saw Mr Webb over the fence with a gun next to him.

Paramedics at the scene also found a hand-written note in the fence behind him.

At the inquest Mr Graham said that his death had not been treated as suspicious and that the suicide note ‘indicated suffering, pain and distress’.

Mr Webb said in the note that he had not been able to walk for very long and no treatment had been helping.

The coroner concluded a verdict of suicide.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this article and need support, please contact the Samaritans on 116123.