He was surrounded by weapons but was somehow unable to defend himself.
The death of Keith Ratliff, self-declared gun nut and co-producer of the ninth-highest-rated channel on YouTube FPS Russia, has caught worldwide attention both because of Ratliff’s high-profile on the internet and the mystery surrounding his death. According to WSBTV Atlanta, Ratliff was found shot once in the head in his office at FPS Industries on Thursday, January, 3rd.
Local police have asked the GBI to assist in the investigation, and agents have said they found several weapons at the scene but are unsure if any of those found were used in the homicide. Police say at this point there also seems to be no clear motive for the murder. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) director of public affairs, John Bankhead told the Huffington Post that there did not appear to be any sign of a struggle.
The New York Times reports that Ratliff, who moved from Kentucky to Camesville, Georgia, about a year ago to open a business that custom made and repaired firearms, was also licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Many of his fans are shocked that someone who was as well-armed as Ratliff, and is considered by many to be an expert in firearms and explosives was unable to defend himself.
Ratliff’s brother, Kelly Ratliff, told WSBTV, “For him not to pull out that gun and try to defend himself, he had to feel comfortable around somebody. Either that or he was ambushed.” This is a sentiment that was echoed by his wife Amanda who said, “You know, it just doesn’t really add up.”
The YouTube videos produced by Ratliff, which feature his friend and partner Kyle Myers, have garnered more than a half billion views, and are hugely popular for their “homegrown brand of zaniness.” USA Today says,
The Russia in the name refers to the Russian accent used by Myers, who plays the character Dmitri Potapoff on the channel. The zany videos demonstrate the firepower of various weapons, usually in a dramatic fashion that involves dummies or objects being blown up.
Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas told reporters that several people of interest were being interviewed, but that they have yet to name a suspect. He said that for now, “we are not ruling out any options.” A spokesman for the GBI also said that they are following up on several strong leads, but they are asking the public for any information that may help in solving the murder.
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