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Jared Francom gave his life doing what he loved, slain officer's brother says

Published: Thursday, Jan. 5 2012 8:03 p.m. MST

From left, Erin Francom, widow of Jared Francom, his brothers Travis Francom, Jessica, (Travis' wife) Ben and Gunner take part in a candlelight vigil honoring their husband and brother, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012. Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

OGDEN — From the time he was a young boy, all Jared Francom could talk about was becoming a police officer.

"Jared was determined to serve in law enforcement and ultimately gave his life doing what he loved to do," said his brother, Travis Francom.

Family members Thursday mourned the loss of Francom who was shot and killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant with the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force.

Francom's three younger brothers stood side-by-side Thursday night as they addressed the media at a candlelight vigil. They thanked all the law enforcers and medical personnel who helped Jared, and encouraged the public to keep the other officers in their prayers.

Travis Francom, 25, remembered his brother as a great father, husband, son and friend who will be greatly missed. The most important legacy he left for his family is the example he set.

"I know that my brother is here watching over all of us tonight. And I just want him to know how much we love him and appreciate everything he's done for us, for setting an example for us, his brothers, his children," he said.

Jared Francom, 30, and five other officers were shot Wednesday night. Francom died hours later. Burrell and fellow Ogden officers Shawn Grogan and Michael Rounkles, Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Nate Hutchinson and Roy police officer Jason Venderwarf were hospitalized.

The alleged gunman, Matthew David Stewart, 37, was also shot. His injuries were not life-threatening.

Jared Francom was the oldest of four boys. He also had an older sister. He was born in Ogden and lived there for six years before his family moved to California. The Francoms later moved to Las Vegas where Jared graduated from high school. He returned to Utah about seven years ago.

He is survived by his wife, Erin, and two young daughters who family members say haven't yet fully comprehended what has happened.

"(We) told them he has a big mission to serve our Heavenly Father up there, so that's what we left it at," Travis Francom said.

He described his older brother as an adrenaline junkie who loved skiing, motorcycles and ATVs. Jared and his father went skydiving on his 18th birthday, and Jared continued to do it ever since.

Francom, with a smile, recalled how his brother was very good at being a cop, but was also known for being "clumsy" and would often fall while running or slip on the ice.

But Jared Francom, an Ogden police officer, loved being on the strike force.

"This was his dream job. This is what he wanted to do," said Diane Frisby, who drove to Utah with her husband from her home in Henderson, Nev., when she heard the news that their son-in-law had been shot and killed.

"I don't think he ever was afraid. I think he truly enjoyed what he did and looked forward to it every single day. I know he enjoyed being on the strike force," Travis Francom said.

The Francoms first learned Wednesday night what happened to Jared when they received a call from an officer on Jared's cell phone. The officer noticed that Jared had been texting his 16-year-old brother, Ben Francom, earlier that evening. He was the first to receive the call.

Travis Francom said he thought a lot Thursday about what he would say if he had one more chance to talk to his brother.

"I'd just tell him that I love him, and thank you."

The Francom family also asked the public to think about the alleged gunman's family.

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