DALLAS - The family of the gunman who opened fire on the Earle Cabell Federal Building in Downtown Dallas says they saw no outward signs of what was to come.
Brian Clyde, 22, stormed the federal building Monday morning in tactical gear and a mask, spraying bullets before federal agents shot and killed him.
His family has spent the last several days thinking and re-thinking about what unfolded Monday.
They say it's like hearing about a stranger.
“We just want everyone to know that we are as flabbergasted and stunned as everyone else is,” said Heather Clyde, who was Brian Clyde’s stepmother.
Heather Clyde had been in Brian’s life since he was two years old.
She describes a quirky, socially awkward young man, but lovable, low-key, and rarely worked up.
All the more difficult to imagine the Brian they knew as the masked, heavily-armed gunman who sprayed bullets toward a Downtown Dallas federal building.
“He was a good kid,” Heather added. “Compassionate, unique. He had unique ideas. He always had games for kids to play.”
Heather says after Brian was discharged from the military in 2017, he got his associates degree in Corpus Christi, then moved back home to North Texas, where -- in short order -- he landed a job and got his own apartment.
She'd just seen him a couple of weekends ago at a family celebration at her house.
“We were cooking together, and he said that we need to cook together again soon. He was always making statements about the future,” Heather said.
Since Monday, Brian's social media has come to light, with pictures of him with guns showing off ammunition.
Heather said he had an interest in guns and it wasn't uncommon for him to go the gun range.
She says she once asked him about some of the nonsensical memes he liked to post, and he said he liked to get reaction from people who didn't understand.
A suicide mission is the only explanation they can come up with, even though that too seems unimaginable for someone who was making plans for the future.
“That's our feeling, that he knew there had already been a shooting down there, and he knew that it was a well-armed area. And he didn't seem to have a strategic plan in place. He didn't have real body armor on,” Heather said. “That's really the only thing that we can derive from his actions is that he was [suicidal], but that's what's driving us crazy, is that we'll never really know.
Clyde's family says it's a very difficult time for them. They are mourning the loss of a son, but they're extremely grateful no one else was killed.