News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 is learning more about the man who deputies say turned the gun on himself during a standoff on Tuesday afternoon.
His family says he is 29-year-old Monte Walker, a father of three small children.
They say the man behind that standoff wasn't the Monte they know.
"He was so funny, he always made everyone laugh. He was the biggest comedian of our family," said Monica Walker, his older sister.
But the baby brother who brought so much humor to this family now brings pain.
"I couldn't believe it. I don't think I could still believe it 'cause we all knew he was not feeling his best that day, but we didn't expect this," Walker said.
Walker is one of his seven siblings. She and some of the others came from Atlanta when they heard the news.
News 12's Sheli Muniz asked, "Are you angry with the decision that he made?"
Walker responded, "No, I could never be mad at him because he felt like that's what he had to do at that moment. I just hope he knows how much we loved him."
On Tuesday, deputies say he was walking around with a gun threatening to end his own life, and after more than an hour of negotiations, Walker says a distraught, depressed, hopeless Monte made the irreversible decision.
"When you get those elements in someone's mind, it's hard to see the next day, it's hard to see the next week, that's where he was -- that's not who he was," she said.
Monte was a family man, worked two jobs and was a father of three children -- all under 5 years old.
News 12's Sheli Muniz asked Walker, "How do you begin to explain to his kids what happened?"
Walker said, "We don't know and that's something we haven't had the opportunity to do yet."
Monte shared custody with the children's mother in Atlanta.
Pictures depict so much love, but perhaps under the smile, life pressures were weighing him down.
"What led up to that, I can't tell you what was in his head, but I can tell you that that was not him," Walker said.
She says they believe he just recently bought the gun he was carrying Tuesday and that they do think this was all premeditated.
One thing they wanted to make clear is that he was not violent and never would hurt anyone, especially deputies. The family wanted to pass along a big thank you to all law enforcement involved. They say everything from negotiations to the response was done respectfully.
[Note: It is News 12's policy not to report on suicides, but this all began as a standoff in a very busy neighborhood.]