Slain Weapons Expert Didn’t Try to Defend Himself, Brother Says
(CARNESVILLE, Ga.) — The brother of a popular YouTube firearms and explosives expert, who was murdered at a gun making business, finds it surprising that his brother did not pull out a weapon to defend himself.
Keith Ratliff, 32, was found with a bullet in his head Thursday evening inside FPS Industries, his gun fabrication business near Carnesville, Ga.
“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,” his brother, Kelly Ratliff, told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV.
John Bankhead, spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said investigators believe they have identified the weapon used to kill Ratliff, however he declined to say if it was among those left at the scene. The investigation into a motive was also ongoing, he said.
Ratliff was the manager of FPS Russia, the ninth most popular YouTube channel, which features a man with a thick Russian accent shooting weapons and blowing items up on the screen.
The channel has amassed a following among weapons enthusiasts, garnering more than 3 million subscribers, making it slightly more than popular boy band One Direction.
“As many of you already know I lost a close friend this week. I ask only that you show respect to the situation for the family’s sake,” the host of the show, who goes by the name Dmitri, posted on Twitter.
Kitty Wandel, who identifies herself on Twitter as a producer of the FPS Russia videos, said Ratliff had been with the channel “for quite some time, helping us out with everything from pulling pranks to finding almost impossible weapons to use in videos.”
Ratliff moved from Kentucky, where his wife and 2-year-old son still live, to get his business up and running in Georgia, Ratliff’s brother said.
Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
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