Raoul Moat's half brother made a desperate bid to save his life - despite the gunman's vow to "take the shoot-out" rather than return to jail.
Angus Moat, who shares the same mother but has a different father to Raoul Moat, told an inquest he pleaded with police to be allowed to speak to his brother on the night he died.
He wanted to tell the former nightclub doorman to surrender for the sake of his children, and that there were people who loved him.
The tax officer, 41, knew Moat had read reports in which his mother had claimed he would be "better off dead", and said he wanted to persuade the fugitive a life sentence would be "better than death".
He claimed it was a mistake he was not allowed to intervene beside expert police negotiators.
He told the inquest at Newcastle Crown Court: "I'd have told him to think of his kids.
"Raoul thought everybody in his own family was against him and I wanted to show him that was not the case.
"I thought if I could speak to him it could change the way he was feeling and the way he would act.
"Raoul responded to aggression and threat, but he also responded to kindness and friendship."
Cross examining for Northumbria Police, John Beggs asked whether Angus Moat's comments were "born principally of guilt" that he'd had no close contact with his brother for almost eight years.
He replied: "Not principally. It is a factor, but not principally.
"I got involved once there was a concrete situation. I saw firearms were involved on both sides.
"I thought it could potentially be the end of my brother's life and I did not want that to happen.
"I knew he would be in a lot of trouble but I did not want him to die.
"My view was that going to prison for the rest of his life would be better than death."
The inquest heard Moat had said he would "take the shoot-out" rather than go back to jail.
The vow was recorded by the gunman on a dictating machine three or four days before he was cornered by police marksmen.
In the message, he described losing the only two people who mattered to him - his grandmother and his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart.
He said: "If I went to jail now, I could hack it because I have lost everything and I have nothing to come out to.
"I have come out and got my vengeance.
"I have set Sam up for life, financially at least.
"But it is not really what I want.
"It would be a waste of a life and a waste of the taxpayer's money.
"Just take the shoot-out and everybody's happy."
Superintendent Jim Napier, the Northumbria Police officer in charge of the criminal investigation into Moat's rampage, said the message had affected the way in which the stand-off was handled.
"It is a personal disappointment I never got to see Mr Moat account for his crimes," he told the hearing.
Jurors heard the former nightclub doorman attempted suicide in 1999, when he was admitted to Newcastle's RVI hospital after taking an overdose of the clubland drug GHB.
The inquest, which is expected to last five weeks, will focus on the events in Rothbury on July 9 and 10, when Moat was found.
There will be questions about weapons used, how police managed the incident, how officers dealt with the dead man and how he acted, the jury was told.