The manager and weapons provider for the popular YouTube channel FPSRussia, Keith Ratliff, was discovered dead early Thursday evening in Carnesville, Georgia. Details have been slow to emerge, but according to WLHR Radio, authorities have confirmed that he died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head and that Ratliff had been deceased for some time before his body was found. A number of firearms were also discovered at the location.
“We received a call about a possible DOA,” said Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas. “Upon the deputies’ arrival, they found a white male who was unconscious and not breathing. EMS personnel came and determined the man was deceased.”
Additional confirmation came from FPSRussia producer Kitty Wandel through her Twitter account:
Keith Ratliff was indeed our weapons guy and sadly was found having passed away on Thursday. The police are still investigating. I do ask… for some privacy at this time as I am sure you can imagine it has shocked and saddened us all at @TheFPShow and right now our… main concern is his family. Thanks for understanding. We will give more details as we can. Thank you.
Wandel elaborated further in a later statement:
As it seems to be leaking out I will confirm to save more messages and questions coming to me. As I am sure most of you know Keith Ratliff has been with the FPSRussia channel for quite some time now, helping us out with everything from pulling pranks to finding almost impossible weapons to use in videos. It saddens me to confirm that he was indeed found having passed away here in Georgia on Thursday. I do ask for some privacy right now as you can imagine it has shocked us all and our main thoughts and concerns lay with his family right now. Thank you for understanding.
FPSRussia was created by Kyle Lamar Myers, who portrays a gun-loving Russian character named Dmitri Potapoff. Myers showcases and demonstrates a wide variety of guns in his episodic videos, often using objects such as pop bottles or cars as makeshift targets. FPSRussia is among the most popular YouTube channels, with over 500 million video views and 3 million subscribers.
Sheriff Thomas said the police are treating the case as a homicide and that the body has been taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab in Atlanta for autopsy.
Ratliff’s death marks the second passing of a high profile figure in the gun community last week. John Noveske, founder of premium AR-15 rifle, parts, and accessories manufacturer Noveske Rifleworks, was killed in a car crash on Friday. A memorial fund has been set up and those interested in donating can find details on Noveske’s Facebook page.