EL PASO, Texas - Editor's note: ABC-7 originally reported that drug use ended Lutich's third marriage before his father's death. He was married only twice, and his father's death came before his second divorce.
Many are wondering what went wrong in Fabens, Texas, on Tuesday that led a man to get into a standoff with authorities and take his own life.
"He was living the American dream, until it was shattered one day," said family friend Ashley Ivey.
But the life of Reese Lutich, 44, was shattered long before it ended, Ivey said.
Lutich shot at a deputy, who returned fire, after Lutich's girlfriend got pulled over, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. No one was injured. The couple then drove off to barricade themselves inside Lutich's home. Lutich spoke with ABC-7's Matt Dougherty briefly during the roughly six-hour standoff. The station aired portions of the conversation Tuesday night.
"When his ex-wife was first diagnosed with cancer, it hit him hard," Ivey said.
Lutich turned to drugs to cope, Ivey said, which ultimately ended his second marriage. Before that, Lutich lost his father -- Tuesday was the five-year anniversary of his father's death. Lutich's mother contacted ABC-7 on Tuesday, saying she wished there were more help for the mentally ill.
"I don't think he was reaching out for attention at all, in any way, shape or form," Ivey said.
But some believe that's why Lutich asked to speak with Dougherty. Lutich told the reporter that the deputy had fired the first shot. He sounded lost and confused, Ivey said.
"Right now the Sheriff's Office is not really in a position to be able to tell the media what they can and cannot air," said Dep. Mariano Valle, a crisis negotiator.
Authorities deployed a smoke grenade as a distraction -- that's when Lutich shot himself.
"It was used in an attempt to lure the subjects out," Valle said. "And it did work. The female did come out."
No word yet on what charges girlfriend Angela Marasovich may face.
In March, Lutich was charged with violating a protective order and possession of a firearm.