David Michael Pittore-Montiel, a doting 34-year-old father and Sunday school teacher who struggled to overcome a difficult life, lost his battle Thursday morning when police found him dead at his home in Longview, Washington, along with his 7-year-old son, Michael, in an apparent murder-suicide.
Longview police received a call about a suicidal man at about 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to KOIN6. When they responded to Montiel's apartment in the 900 block of 8th Avenue they heard shots as soon as they got to the door. They found Montiel and his son dead inside.
Montiel reportedly reached out to several people on social media early Thursday morning explaining he was in crisis and friends tried to encourage him and called police.
A local Mormon Church leader said Montiel was a Sunday school teacher. The Christian Post, however, was unable to independently verify this information. Calls to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Longview went unanswered.
According to his LinkedIn page, Montiel said he was an office administrator at the Lower Columbia Community Action Program, an organization formed in 1964 as part of President Johnson's "war on poverty."
When contacted Friday, however, Kathy Bates of LCCAP said: "That is incorrect. He hasn't been with us in a long time. He was a manager at McDonald's."
The organization released a statement on his passing on their website and social media highlighting the valiant fight he waged before giving up on Thursday.
"Staff members of Lower Columbia CAP are mourning the tragic loss of David Pittore-Montiel and his son, Michael. David struggled for many years to overcome a mountain of obstacles that life had thrown his way. He grew up in foster care, became homeless after his discharge from the military, had his identity stolen — and yet, he overcame all of that," the agency said.
"David set an outstanding example of someone willing to put in the time and effort required to rebuild his life. With CAP's help, he found housing for himself and his son, sought counseling to address past traumas, landed a job, rebuilt his credit, became a restaurant manager, and went back to school to earn a bachelors' degree in criminal justice. David and his son, Michael, were frequently seen out and about, all around town, riding bicycles together. He often expressed that Michael meant everything to him," they explained.
"CAP staff mourns this tragic event. After fighting so hard to overcome one hurdle after another, David lost his final struggle. CAP offers condolences to the family and friends of David and his son. We share their grief and loss," the statement ended.
Montiel explained on his LinkedIn page that he wanted to attend law school to focus on criminal and family law.
"My passion for law grew from a personal experience and many battles in a courtroom and in the appellate level. I realized legal barriers can have a devastating implication in one's professional and personal life, and can affect loved ones. My interest is to reduce those barriers in families by fighting for true victims of domestic violence, child custody and criminal defenses against victims," he wrote.
He was reportedly a single father.
His ex-wife, Crystal Montiel, who currently lives in Vancouver, Washington, quietly mourned the loss of her son on her Facebook page.
"Today David Montiel (my ex-husband) took the life of my precious 7-year-old Michael as well as his own. You never know [how] short life is until your little guy isn't there anymore asking you all the annoying questions we all take for granted...," she wrote.
Longview Public School Superintendent Dan Zorn said Michael was a first-grader at Northlake Elementary School.