RENO, Nev.-- A local family is remembering the man who gave his life during yesterday's deadly bank robbery on South Virginia Street.
In a tear-filled interview, Bob Sperry's children and brother spoke exclusively with KOLO 8 News Now, about what made their father such a special man.
"He's a Marine. Through and through. He's just very simple. It didn't take a whole lot to make us happy," said Greg Sperry, Bob's oldest son.
Family members say the Vietnam Veteran and 24-year career Marine would never have thought twice about giving his life to protect another.
"His whole life, he just liked helping people," said Greg.
They say, it makes sense to them that when a bank robber threatened innocent people, Sperry stepped in.
"We can only guess that something went terribly wrong, and my dad must have been trying to protect somebody. They always say it's not going to happen to me, but unfortunately it does happen to people like us," said Greg.
"I'm pissed off. It's sad. He's a good man. He's a community man," said Victor Sperry, another one of Bob's sons
"I just hope this person, who did that to my dad, realizes what he's done to us. He could have been around for a lot longer. He was healthy. He was getting ready to retire," said Greg.
"You know, The Lord had different ideas and so we've got to move forward. It's going to be hard," said Joseph, Sperry's son.
"I don't know how many times since this happened... I've been thinking, well I can just call him. But I can't. No more," said Frank, Sperry's brother.
My kids, I've got a 10 and a 13 year old. And they'll never be able to spend another day with their grandpa," said Greg.
Though a senseless tragedy took their dad away, Sperry's children say they will never forget what made their father special.
"He loved to drive, and drive, and drive. From here to Ely, he loved it," said Victor.
Greg says his father will forever be remembered as a kind giving man who would do anything for a stranger.
"It made him happy. I'm sure it did. He lived quite a life... I hope I'm 1/2 a 1/4 of the man he is.... Was," said Greg.
Bob Sperry was awarded two bronze stars for his service in Vietnam, his family says they would like to thank the community for their support through this tragedy.