YONKERS, NY — The twin brother of the Fort Lee sergeant who shot herself to death says her death “came out of nowhere.”
Paul Walker told The Daily Mail Thursday that his sister Paula was in good spirits when he spoke to her last week and said the 14-year veteran loved the military.
“I am devastated at the loss of my twin sister. This was totally unseen,” Walker told the website. “I spoke to her a week ago and she was fine and in good spirits. I just don’t know, you never know. You never know what’s going on in a person’s mind. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Walker also said that her family was not aware of any mental health issues.
He said Sergeant First Class Walker leaves behind an eight-year-old daughter who will now be cared for by their 61-year-old mother in Yonkers, New York.
The 33-year-old barricaded herself in a Fort Lee office Monday and then killed herself with a handgun that was not her service weapon.
First responders were dispatched to Fort Lee post after a report of a female soldier with a gun inside the Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters (Bldg. 5020) at 8:45 a.m.
Major General Stephen Lyons, the Commanding General of Combined Armed Support Command and Fort Lee, said that the soldier walked into a headquarters building with a small-caliber weapon.
As a result, an alert was sounded across the post all access gates on post were closed temporarily.
“Soldiers and civilians responded appropriately,” Lyons said. “They either sheltered in place or evacuated and notified law enforcement.”
Fort Lee police responded within two minutes and established communication with the solider, who had barricaded herself in an office on the third floor. Lyons said the negotiation team thought their work was progressing calmly until the woman turned the gun on herself and shot herself once in the head.
Lyons said it was unclear whether the solider was a threat to others.
“She did not fire any rounds prior to taking that weapon on herself,” Lyons said. “She did go into a bit of a rampage in the office area.”
Officials said special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating the incident.
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