FPSRussia’s Weapons Guy Found Dead, Single Gunshot to Head

There’s a story out of Carnesville, Georgia that Keith Ratliff, weapons provider for the popular YouTube celebrity FPSRussia (the man with the FFL that gets him his toys) was found dead, reportedly tied to a chair (unconfirmed sources on that tip). Police say the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head, and are treating the incident as a homicide.

From Lake Hartwell Radio:

According to  Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas, the body of 32-year old  Keith Ratliff of Frankfort, Kentucky was found about 5:45p Thursday evening.

At the time, authorities would not release any information until the victim’s relatives had been notified. On Sunday, Thomas said Ratliff’s body was discovered after a 911 call.

“We received a call about a possible DOA,” Thomas said Sunday. “Upon the deputies arrival, they found a white male who was unconscious and not breathing. EMS personnel came and determined the man was deceased.”

Thomas said they are treating the death as a homicide until the investigation proves otherwise.  He would not say why the man was in Carnesville or give any other information.

Investigators, Thomas said, determined Ratliff had died of a single gunshot to the head and that his body been there for some time. Thomas said investigators found numerous guns in the area where Ratliff’s body was found.

 

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

126 Responses to FPSRussia’s Weapons Guy Found Dead, Single Gunshot to Head

  1. avatarTim says:

    WTF???

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I would like to associate myself completely with Tim’s comment.

      • avatarSanchanim says:

        Agreed… Listen we might make fun on occasion of FPS but this is serious!
        Zhit just got real!!

        Thoughts and prayers to him and his family.. That is messed up!

    • avatarJake W says:

      +1000

    • avatarblinkypete says:

      Me three. Also, que tinfoil hattery nowish.

    • avatarDryw says:

      Russian Mafia wants its (faux) accent back.

    • In fake Soviet Russia, guns shoot YOU!

    • avatarCnelson says:

      You are all missing the point!!! The dude was shot mob style and not a single gun was stolen… He supplied fpsrussia with there guns…. Fps Russia is the biggest “pro” gun group out there with literally millions of views…. This is the second mystery killing of a pro gun figure since the school shootings…. Not to mention none of the 1000+ dollar guns where stolen he was silenced that’s it

      • avatarAlan Rose says:

        What (who) was the first?

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          I’m telling you this with the caveat that I think it’s lunacy, but I believe in allowing you the information to draw your own conclusions:

          John Noveske died in a car accident in Oregon this past Friday night. He apparently lost control (or something broke) and he ran off the road. He was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the car.

  2. avatarMichael F. says:

    And the plot thickens….

  3. avatarEric says:

    I’ve a bad feeling about this one….

  4. avatarMichael B. says:

    Oh wow.

  5. avatarDerek says:

    …Holy sh!t.

    Is FPSRussia accounted for? He’s not dead or on the run is he?

  6. avatarJames R says:

    That’s not good. Why do I have a feeling some of those weapons are missing and they’re class III.

    • avatarThomas Paine says:

      exactly

    • avatarMr. Pierogie says:

      Their gun safety was pretty lax judging by their videos, so I wouldn’t be surprised if those nice guns were not stored properly either.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Another spree killing about to happen but this time with actual assault rifles?

      Sorry, my tinfoil hat got stuck

      This actually does worry me about our future. These guys reckless bull&hit makes us look bad enough as it is. If this turns in to more, we’re in for a very rough ride

      • avatarCory07ink says:

        No Firearms were taken.

        • avatarKevin says:

          And just where did you hear that? NEWS Article specifically states, “Thomas said investigators found numerous guns in the area where Ratliff’s body was found.”

          Numerous does not mean none were taken. It also doesn’t mean any were taken. It just means there were alot of guns on scene. What else would you expect given who he was…

    • avatarMolon Labe says:

      My thoughts also.

  7. avatarOHgunner says:

    The question is… Do I use the triangle fold for my tinfoil hat on this, or fashion a tin-foil top hat?

    Okay, now that I have my hat folded and placed, this is very concerning. The death of Noveske and the manager of a firearms pop culture phenom within a day of each other? Are the Obama hit squads on patrol?

    • avatarBill says:

      My friend and I had a half serious discussion about that kind of thing today, before I heard about this.

  8. avatarHowdy says:

    I am begging that this is a hoax. Please let this be a hoax.

  9. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Maybe the same guy that sawed Noveske’s tie rod most of the way through. Seriously though, sounds like a vigilanti killer, Randy

    • avataraaronw says:

      Mark Craighead (Crossbreed Holsters) died of unexpected complications associated with an outpatient procedure…

      • avatarchris says:

        Not that it doesn’t deserve mention, but that did happen in August of last year……not seeing the correlation.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      If you are serious, you are out of your damn mind.

      This comment is directed not just at Randy, but at the 2-3 comments above him in the same line.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        +1. Perhaps you should all start a support group email list so you can share your dark mutterings without making the rest of us look like lunatics by association.

        Yes, yes, “wake the fsck up”, the Illuminati and the Jews did this, etc. Whatever. I’m all stocked up on crazy, go sell it somewhere else.

        • avatarCoyote Gray says:

          Well AlphaGeek….

          Lets not discount the Tinfoil theories so easily.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy

          The Guardian in the UK, uncoverred PLENTY of evidence on how the US government cracked down on the Occupy Wall Street movements (OWSM), 1A; Collaborating with the banks and entities OWSM was picketing. They even drew up plans for assasinations of key leaders and figure heads.

          I’m not saying thats what happened here, but lets not put it past our government to do it.

          Crap…where is my tinfoil hat. I just saw a black chopper flying over head.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          CG, I can at least take you seriously because you’re able to joke about black helicopters. That shows a certain amount of self-awareness and rationality lacking in real conspiracy nuts.

          There’s a huge difference between Federal surveillance (and yes, sometimes overstepping of boundaries) of large-scale movements like Occupy vs. an alleged murder involving two dudes producing a popular gun channel on YouTube.

          It’s too soon to speculate — but it seems to me that it’s far more likely that FPSRussia’s FFL/manager was involved in shady stuff that went bad for him. Reference the data pointing to the majority of home invasions being drug-involved crimes. (Or that this was an accident during a video shoot. Can’t rule that one out either…)

      • avatarJoshinGA says:

        agreed. all we need is for the antis to be able to say look, they really are the lunatic fringe. and for it to actually be true.

        • avatarPaul W says:

          Yep.

        • avatarCoyote Gray says:

          The Occums Razor philosophy we both appear to subscribe to Alpha. Against another backdrop, we’d toss it up to the tragedy of threes. Still, no worries about Gun grabber hit squads. Why worry about secret killers when they are doing just fine killing us in the Media for all to see.

      • avatarRandy Drescher says:

        Matt, you ok there? I’m used to calm cool & collected, what happened? Randy

        • avatarblinkypete says:

          John Noveske was driving too fast for conditions in a 30 year old truck, failed to wear a seat belt and was tragically killed. This fellow seems to have been murdered, and we’re all still waiting for details.

          If your reaction is to make the grand canyon sized jump to conclusion that these cases are connected, apropos of nothing but their participation in the same industry then you clearly don’t understand how things work in the real world. I’m sure many share your beliefs, but rest assured you are all almost certainly wrong.

        • avatarBrandon says:

          Maybe he was being chased, or had cut brake lines? Do you think that kind of thing doesn’t happen? We will never know will we because a car accident isn’t scrutinized like an aircraft accident, oh wait, what was that, where is the black box from Flight 93? Hm, good question, but I digress..

      • avatarOHgunner says:

        For my part at least, I was joking. I had a smiley face at the end, then went in to edit grammar and it disappeared.

      • avatarIn Memphis says:

        Im not preaching or even thinking of a gun grabber hit squad. I believe these are all isolated incidents.

        BUT I am concerned over two things on this particular incident.

        1) The obvious: FPSRussia is all over the net and makes us look bad

        2) The type of gun they have access too

        Flame on…

    • avatarJames R says:

      That would be interesting. Straight out of a movie for sure. But if there’s a psycho killer out for blood against anyone who deals with guns or owns then we all have to be careful.

    • avatarjustin says:

      Boy those Brady campaign people are getting militant

    • avatarWLCE says:

      lets stay focused on finding the facts first.

      there are conspiracies, but we have to examine the evidence and not draw to any wrong conclusions.

  10. avatarRob says:

    Can it be that the gun control crowd is now employing the same means that the Pro Life abortion clinic bombers used? Murder to “save lives”?

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Doubtful.

    • avatarDerek says:

      They probably would’ve killed FPSRussia himself if that were the case.

      • avatarRob says:

        If you cut off the head, the body dies.

        Not to mention if you set up a meeting with the manager under false pretenses he’ll likely come alone. If you set up a meeting with the talent under false pretenses he’ll likely bring his manager. Easier to hit one than two.

        In the end though this was probably something completely NOT to do with the current gun climate.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      The same thought popped into my head about the tactics used by the fringe “pro-lifers”, but I’m not real sure that the anti’s would know these particular gun people. I would think that they would go after the bigger fish in the pond. And I’m thinking that tin foil in the hat might be better replaced with a few layers of kevlar.

      • avatarJoshinGA says:

        Just to be clear, FPSRussia has the third most viewed channel on the whole of Youtube. Youtube has 4 billion views per day. That amounts to a lot of views normalizing guns, and making guns “cool” to the current generation. FPSRussia is a “big fish”.

        That said, I dont subscribe to this conspiracy theory about anti-gunner assassinations.

  11. avataruncommon_sense says:

    I subscribe to the notion that there is no such thing as “coincidences”. I personally speculated about foul-play in the death of John Noveske of Noveske Rifleworks simply because of the timing. (The TruthAboutGuns posted here: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/01/foghorn/john-noveske-killed-in-car-accident/.) Now a second person in the firearms community dies of an apparent execution. If a third person in the firearms community dies in the next few days, I will definitely not consider that a coincidence.

    I hate to even bring that up. But several gun control proponents have publicly called for the death of various people in the firearms community.

    • avatardaveR says:

      Oh, for Pete’s sake.

    • avatar16V says:

      Last time I read about Noveske, he was not wearing his seat belt. While one should certainly have that freedom of choice, just like playing Russian Roulette, it’s an odds-on loser.

      He was most likely killed by a combo latter of overconfident driving (typical in 4wd accidents) and then the obvious not wearing his seatbelt being ejected from the rolling vehicle.

    • avatarWLCE says:

      what facts do you have in regards to Noveske???

      you obviously know something we dont.

    • avatarjwm says:

      The computer allows every one to exercise their 1a rights. Even when it’s obvious they shouldn’t.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        Good one. That ranks up there with someone else’s recent comment to another local hothead commenter that not everything that goes through their head needs to hit the keyboard.

  12. avatarJoshinGA says:

    Like it or not, FPSRussia helps bring the younger generation over to our side. He shows guns in a way that is appealing to young kids. If this stops or slows down his video production, it will be a huge hit to the gun community, even if he does not follow standard safety rules like wearing eye and ear protection.

    • avatarAdam says:

      Supposedly he wears custom molded clear ear pieces… :)

      • avatarLogan P says:

        I don’t know about him, but I have those too. If your hearing gets jacked up enough working flightline, the BE clinic (at least at Edwards) issued them. They rule.

  13. avatarSammy says:

    This is WAY beyond FUBAR.

  14. avatarhoppes#9 says:

    And unicorns!

  15. avatargloomhound says:

    Seems like some folks are “jumping the gun” on this topic. No pun intended.

  16. avatarStephen - Ky says:

    This is in Georgia. There is no Carnesville in Kentucky and that’s not the name of the Franklin Co Ky sheriff.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      The confusion might be that Ratliff is originally from Frankfort, KY. According to http://franklincosheriff.net/ and this story about his recent reelection, Stevie Thomas is the Sheriff of Franklin County, GA.

      That said, please let’s make sure what is written is accurate, and not turn this into the debacle that this site experienced with Newtown and “breaking news.”

    • avatarGib says:

      Correct, this occurred in Carnesville, GA – Franklin County Georgia. Coincidentally both Carnesville and the victim’s hometown of Frankfort, KY both happen to be located in Franklin counties within their respective states.

  17. avatarJohnny says:

    Something tells me this is more of an FPSRussia video gone bad than an actual homocide.

    • avatarLogan P says:

      Well, yikes. Now that would be a non-coincidence I could see. Then again, Mr. NotRussianDude tends not to have other people in his videos.

    • avatarOddux says:

      Apparently the reports of a gunshot wound to the head were speculation and rushed reporting, it now seems that a refrigerator fragment was the cause of death.

  18. avatarJohn E > says:

    In my experience there are no coinidences…

    This would sure make an interesting plot point in a novel.

  19. avatarSlappy says:

    This guy was not the manager, just the weapons/props person. Manager’s name is Kitty Wandel. If you have a Twitter account you can follow her @Kitty_Paintball. She has several updates on her account, but nothing mentioning any missing/stolen firearms. Not saying there are none, just that you can get updates from a credible source if interested.

  20. avatarstateisevil says:

    This guy probably had a lot of cool stuff and was murdered for it. There aren’t any details yet that I can find. Not that the government and those close to it don’t have hit teams. They most certainly do, but you have to be in a position to embarrass or incriminate someone important. For example, the scientist who supposedly released the anthrax in 2001 and the “D.C. Madam” were the victim of hits.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      I think it’s likely that the US government has assassinated people in our own country at some point but in the two cases you mention I think they just blamed one crime on a dead guy and the other one was a legitimate suicide.

      Real political assassinations usually involve poisonings or shootings. See: Putin’s Russia.

      As for Noveske and this guy’s death being tied in? I don’t believe it. People need to mentally put themselves in the shoes of the assassins they’re imagining. Why go after two nobodies (no offense) when there are way more lucrative targets?

      More than likely this was a robbery or something. No tinfoil hattery necessary.

      • avatarBrandon says:

        Two nobodies? Do you know who you are even talking about??? Ratliff is world renowned for his weapons and explosives and Noveske is ALSO renowned for his precision weapons, please just research for like 5 mins before you post.

  21. avatarChrisH says:

    That sounds strangely like FPSRussia’s promotional video where he was raising money for a video game or something. Is it possible this is all just a hoax?

  22. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    Didn’t someone say this stuff happens in threes. Maybe Ronnie Barrett should lay low.

  23. avatarDustin says:

    *Puts on tinfoil hat*
    Just a hypothesis; execution of known gun enthusiast by radical anti-gun elements. If he’s tied to a chair, we’re looking at either a sexual situtation, or mulitple assailants. By tying him to the chair it paints the picture he was interogated and either noncompliant or the information was gleaned so he wsa executed. Multiple guns found in the area? Yeah if it were strictly a robbery they would ALL be taken, not just a few. This wreaks of agenda driven driven political statement style execution. If my hypothesis, notice hypothesis not theory proves correct, that shot to the head could be the start of something this country hasn’t experienced in a very long time.

  24. avatarMilsurp Collector says:

    I refuse to dawn a tin-foil hat and join the party. I guarantee you if this turns out to be a homicide, Ratliff was probably killed over a proposed “off the books” sale gone bad or some other shady business. Relax people, the Obama Youth Corps of Illuminati FEMA camp guarding moon-base pirate-ninja children is not carrying out hits on well-known personalities in the firearms community.

    • avatarDustin says:

      Personally I don’t buy into the “IT’S A CONSPIRACY WARGARBLE!!!” But some left leaning wacko or two, yeah that I can buy.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Well put, but now we have irreconcilable differences because you maligned pirate-ninja children. Clearly you have not met my youngest offspring or you wouldn’t have written that, you horrible little man.

      PS: :)

    • avatarMr. Pierogie says:

      Don’t forget all those empty autorack trains waiting to be filled with FEMA coffins…

    • avatarRob says:

      Haha, “moon base”. That just what they’d want you to believe as they laugh at you from their Mars base.

  25. avatarJeff says:

    Here’s hoping its a stupid publicity stunt.

  26. avatarlolinski says:

    Am I the only one who think its weird that they had to have the EMS team come over to determine that he was dead because of a gunshot wound to the head? I thought GSW’s to the head were pretty obvious, especially when the victim is dead,

    • avatarLoyd says:

      Someone in an official medical capacity has to make the declaration. In many jurisdictions that can only be done by an MD (the county medical examiner in the case of a murder), but some instances that can be delegates to EMS crews. It all depends on the local policies.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      It’s not the LEO’s job to declare death, even when it’s blatantly obvious. That’s a function performed by a medical professional.

    • Typical for EMS to be the first to be dispatched if the caller who stumbles on the patient/victim/body/deceased is uncertain. EMS would then “run a strip” (portable EKG/defib) to confirm likelihood of death. Assuming a lack of “activity”, the strip would be left with the body, LEO would stay on-scene and the coroner would be called.

  27. avatarctay says:

    In other news Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has announced legislation to ban single gunshot wounds to the head, rope in any amounts exceeding 10 feet and enforce registration of chairs. “I be damned this happens again” Feinstein said while speaking at a luncheon today for mentally challenged liberals.

  28. avatarJessica Stapleton says:

    This entire story makes zero sense to me. Keith Ratliff was well armed. I am wondering how the hell someone who has a house full of guns and knows how to use them, would allow themselves to be tied to a chair and shot in the head, without at least taking a couple of people with him.
    A man who has that many guns has to have a certain degree of paranoia about them. I find I can not grasp that he would let any stranger that close to him. This crime had to be done by someone he knew well enough to let them in and get close to him to tie him up.

    • avatarDryw says:

      I know literally nothing about this case, other than what’s written above. But a possible answer to your query: coercion through threat of violence to a loved one is a nefariously powerful tool.

      As looney as it may seem; as home invasions become more prevalent in my area, I’ve regularly worked through a number of “if -> then” scenarios with all my loved ones pertaining to being (or even better, not becoming) a hostage. Hated every minute of it too. Stuff scares the snot out of me.

  29. avatarMatt Uguccioni says:

    Ok folks is going hot. Obama has started systematically taking out people with strong ties to guns.
    The guy who was a strong maker of AR barrels just dies in a car crash now FPS Russian guy is dead. Hes a strong promoter of guns.

    Folks we are straight up under attack. American better get awake and stand up to this tyrant!!! This is some serious crap getting ready to drop on this country!!!

  30. avatarMotoJB says:

    Wow…some of you are coming off as nuts and are part of the reason antis are so scared of us gun owners. If some of you can actually believe some of the sheet you are writing, they think you are capable of anything.

  31. avatarErik says:

    Does MrColionNoir have an alibi?

  32. avatarErik says:

    I believe a “conspiracy” is likely, but no one was trying to silence him. maybe some anti-gun nut may, but nothing involving the US Government.

    It has anyone investigated Mr. Ratliff before? what about his ATF inspections?

    You know what I think, I think someone may have been dealing “under the table” or “laundering” guns or money. or he just got involved with the wrong people with drugs or criminal rackets.

    That’s the type of conspiracy that makes sense.

  33. avatarFLUF says:

    i’v read all of these and the only few that i beleave are the unicorns one and the ones about this either being a robbery or a intergatian gone bad. but when you really think about many people that where deep in the “gun community” have been killed in various ways but all seem like planned assassinations including the two most recent ones being the “car crash” that killed John Noveske of Noveske Rifleworks and obvielsly this on on the death of Keith Ratliff so i think the goverment is starting to get scared. you know call me crazy but i dont know if anyone else knows this but the goverment had multiable highly trained assassination teams and i think there killing everyone with overage in gun knowledge that is’nt helping the goverment in someway notice how they said only a few guns where taken probally ones that where either “rare” or ones that where non-marceted easly conseald weapons they could make sure they stayed off the market. Call me crazy if you will but that what i beleave

  34. avatarb says:

    Jeez, he got caught with his pants down. Wach yourself ladies. get ur small guns

  35. avatarB Heard says:

    It seem to me like someone was careless making another one of their stupid videos. No surprise there since safety doesn’t appear to be a top concern for those guys.

  36. avatarpreston says:

    i think someone might have done this to intimidate FPS into stopping his videos probobly temporarily because of the possible assault weapons ban because his videos are mainly watched by kids

  37. avatar629 says:

    And Kyle makes three.

    • avatarAlan Rose says:

      Don’t forget Massad Ayoob, and another instructor whose name I can’t recall, survived a helo crash last week. So that’s 3/5.

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