Both Robert and his brother, Joseph, were involved in the gun market - Robert being the salesman, and Joseph being a gunsmith. Together they developed the Beretta 92F, otherwise known as the "Samurai Edge", custom handguns requested by the Raccoon Police Department during the formation of the S.T.A.R.S. unit. The order for the Samurai Edge weapons may have been personally ordered from officer Barry Burton, a close friend of Robert's.
Following the spread of the t-Virus into the water supply and the mass appearance of zombies on September 25, 1998, Robert handed out the majority of his gun stock to civilians as protection. He felt guilty in doing so, as the Raging Bull Barry had ordered was given to the crowd. He nonetheless remained hopeful of his chances of survival; expecting Barry to come looking for him, he left a note detailing his planned escape to the nearby town, Stone Ville. As the days went by with the civilians disappeared, Robert took to hiding within the store, as well as his wife and his daughter, Emma Kendo, who were later infected in the process. Kendo killed his wife to eliminate the threat posed on him and his daughter.
On September 29, Kendo first encountered Leon Scott Kennedy and Ada Wong as they entered his store. Believing them to be intruders, Robert aimed his shotgun at Leon; however, the encounter was interrupted by Emma, and Ada attempted to kill his daughter much to Robert's objection but was stopped by Leon. Robert then took Emma inside while demanding privacy and killed her to prevent zombification. Not long after that, he also committed suicide off-screen.
In the non-canon scenario presented by The Ghost Survivors, Robert's attempted suicide is interrupted when a friend of his (implied to be Barry Burton) calls him over the radio, offering to pick him up in the sewer via helicopter. With his will to live restored, Robert gears up and fights his way to the extraction point in the sewer, escaping Raccoon City alive.