[UPDATE: 01/09/2013 11:50 p.m. PT]
More details have emerged regarding the murder of FPSRussia weapons manager Keith Ratliff. The brother of Ratliff told WSB-TV that, “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.”
In addition, Kyle Myers aka FPSRussia issued a statement via Twitter earlier today:
[UPDATE: 01/07/2013 2:30 p.m. PT] YouTube game commentator xJawz has also confirmed that Keith Ratliff “is the weapons expert for the behind the scenes stuff on FPSRussia’s show” in a YouTube video uploaded moments ago. xJawz explains that Ratliff also worked on Machinima’s original series “The Controller: Medal of Honor Warfighter.”
[UPDATE: 01/07/2013 1:45 p.m. PT] A member of the FPSRussia team just sent out this tweet confirming that Keith Ratliff was in fact a member of the FPSRussia team.
Ratliff, 32, was discovered after a 911 call alerted Franklin County Sheriffs of “a possible DOA.” The Kentucky man was discovered, having suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and pronounced dead by EMS personnel.
According to Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas, the death is currently being investigated as a homicide. Thomas also expressed that investigators had found several guns around the area where Ratliff was found.
Unverified reports are now suggesting that Ratcliff, who is listed as a “Firearms Marketing Consultant at FPS Industries” was somehow connected to the YouTube channel of Kyle Myers aka FPSRussia.
Pro-gun blog Liberty & Such reported earlier today that Ratliff was “the manager of FPS Russia, the 3rd most popular youtube channel.” However, Ratliff was a consultant for FPS Industries, which seems to have no clear connections with FPSRussia other than unverified posts and questionable YouTube videos.
[Update] FPSRussia team member Kitty Wandel has confirmed that Ratliff was a member of the FPSRussia team saying, “Keith Ratliff has been with the FPS Russia channel for quite some time now, helping us out with everything from pulling pranks to finding almost impossible weapons to use in videos.”
In a YouTube video uploaded by an account associated with Ratliff titled “Inside Edition – FPS Russia’s Gun Warehouse and Factory Tour,” a narrator explains, “I was asked to show you all how big a facility FPSRussia really has.” The narrator says while moving a camera through an empty warehouse, “This is the building that he is going to occupy for his firearms industry.”
A look at Ratliff’s Twitter account shows that the Kentucky local often messaged FPSRussia with videos of his own custom guns, but not much beyond that.
Reports are still coming out as deputies have asked the victim’s family to remain quiet as to not compromise the investigation.
Several pro-gun blogs have picked up the story and included the alleged connection between Ratliff and FPSRussia. Earlier today, the Wikipedia of FPSRussia was edited to include the unverified report citing Liberty & Such as the source.
We reached out to FPSRussia for comment and will update upon any word from Myers or his staff.