Gun Enthusiast With Popular Online Videos Is Shot to Death in Georgia

From The NY Times:

CARNESVILLE, Ga. — Keith Ratliff loved guns. He built his own rifles. He kept bullets in his car’s cup holder. And on the rear window he slapped a sticker of the Starbucks Coffee mermaid firing two pistols.

“I ? Guns and Coffee,” it read.

Mr. Ratliff’s passion for firearms made him something of a celebrity on the Internet, where he helped make scores of videos about high-powered and exotic guns and explosives. His YouTube channel, called FPSRussia, became the site’s ninth largest, with nearly 3.5 million subscribers and more than 500 million views.

But last week, the authorities said, Mr. Ratliff, 32, ended up on the wrong end of a gun. The police in northeast Georgia found him dead at his office on Jan. 3, shot once in the head. He was surrounded by several guns, but not the one that killed him. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is treating it as a homicide.

“We are interviewing people of interest, but we have not named a suspect,” said the Franklin County sheriff, Stevie Thomas. “We are not ruling out any options.”

The news, coming amid a national debate about gun control, rippled across the blogs and social networking sites where his videos were popular. Tributes on Facebook and Twitter came from fans stunned that such a well-armed expert had not been able to defend himself.

I may have posted several videos from FPS Russia in the past. I never quite understood the fake russian slant to the videos but they are entertaining nonetheless.

  • Justin

    wait wait wait… so you’re telling me a well-trained guy with plenty of access to firearms couldn’t defend even himself against a homicidal shooter? Well, clearly, instead of an armed guard in every school in America, we’ll be needing two armed guards in every school in America. That should solve the problem once and for all.

    • KingTaco

      But what if we have another Columbine situation with two shooters? I think it only makes sense we have four armed guards, just in case.

  • Hugo
  • Veronica

    Perfect response for my brother-in-law who believes that just the presence of guns deters shootings. thanks for sharing.

  • Dail

    Ahhh, cosmic justice. And in Georgia to boot!

  • rob-ert

    come on you guys. just because he owned guns does not mean he will be able to defend against any attack. being suprised by someone you know comes to mind along with any number of scenerios. if i am going to be attacked even if it is a suprise by someone i know. being armed would at least give me a chance in many other circumstances. use yor imagination.

  • WordyGrrl

    This is sad, because the few videos I have seen by this guy seemed like really sly parodies of “wacky gun nut videos.”

  • James

    While I don’t agree with any type of violence. I don’t understand liberals who are against the government on issues of women’s health, civil liberties, and the war on drugs, but when it comes to guns they are all about control and government intervention. You don’t trust the governments effectiveness or motivation concerning those issues but you want everyone to hand over there gun to that same government?