"Not His Fault" According to Family of Veteran Caught Trespassing Into White House

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - 42 -year-old Omar Gonzalez served 3 tours in Iraq, but by now you may know him as the man who tried to charge into the White House.

A video shows Gonzalez making his way to the front doors, where he eventually got inside before the secret service caught him.

Though he was perceived as a threat, his family said that's not the man the veteran is.

"He's always hyper, high strung, he's got a fun loving personality about him.  He's an all around good guy," Jerry Murphy, Gonzalez's former stepson said.

The two haven't spoken in a couple of years, but Murphy is still quick to defend the man who took him in at his time in need. NewsWest 9 spoke exclusively with Murphy about what may have led the 18-year veteran to do it.

Murphy said Gonzalez is a decorated veteran who always defended the country.

"That was his job to live and to make it home and get rid of these guys and that's what he did and he did it well,"  He also said Gonzalez was highly trained and if he wanted to cause some damage "things would have gotten a whole lot more messy."

According to Murphy, Gonzalez had lost his house and his wife within a few years. During that time, he's been living out of his truck. That's where authorities found weapons that could take anyone down.

"He was one of the type of guys that that stocked up on the end of days type stuff, you know he kept plenty of ammo, plenty of water, plenty of survival stuff," Murphy explained.

But the fact that he left his weapons in the truck, Murphy believes, is evidence that Gonzalez wasn't out to hurt anyone.

"If he went in there with bad intentions he very well could have brought it. He made it all the way to the front door but who cares about the 800 rounds in his truck, he didn't take one round in with him. I mean this is a guy who's job was to kill the enemy. If they were his enemy or he was threatened I mean it could have been a whole lot worse than it was," he said. Murphy added that the veteran surrendered on his own and let the men take him down without a fight.

So then why did he do it? Murphy says PTSD is to blame.

"I think after he probably had to put a kid or two down running at you with a grenade or a machine gun it would take a toll on any human being that has a heart," he said. "Obviously in his mind he was on some sort of a mission to warn people about something. I don't know what was going on in his mind, I just know in his mind he was on a mission and he was going to fulfill it one way or another.

Now Gonzalez is looking at 10 years behind bars if convicted, something Murphy feels is unfair.

"He's never forsaken or turned his back on his country. He gave his mind and his family for this country. And this country don't take two seconds to turn his back on soldiers like him. They should look at his record twice and try to rehabilitate him faster than they should prosecute him," he said.

There was one more message Murphy wanted to convey, and this one directly to Gonzalez.

"I just want him to know we're rooting for him and I hope it all works out good. I told him that I love him and that you got family out here that cares about you. And I appreciate everything that you've sacrificed for me and for the rest of this country," Murphy said.

Murphy said he's prepared to testify for Gonzalez if needed.

Gonzales had been honorably discharged from the military in 2012.