Police investigate death of popular YouTube channel operator

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ga. — The slaying of a north Georgia businessman is catching worldwide attention.

Franklin County resident Keith Ratliff was found shot once in the head last Thursday at his business, FPS Industries, just outside of Carnesville.

Ratliff was known on the Internet for a series of gun-related videos he and a partner produced called FPS Russia.

The videos showed a man with a Russian accent shooting off all types of weaponry and blowing items up on screen.

YouTube said the video channel was the ninth-highest-rated channel on its site and the videos have amassed nearly a half-billion views.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said its agents have no clear motive in Ratliff's death. He was last seen alive late Wednesday afternoon.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas asked GBI spokesman John Bankhead if there was any indication Ratliff's websites had any role in the crime.

"No not that we can determine," Bankhead responded.

Agents said they found several weapons at the scene, some of which Ratliff made, others which he did not make. Agents said they aren't sure if the weapon that killed him is among the weapons found.

Ratliff had just moved to Franklin County to build the business about a year ago. His wife, 2-year-old son, and extended family still live in Kentucky.

"You know, it just doesn't really add up," said Ratliff's wife, Amanda.

"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," said his brother, Kelly.

GBI agents now hope tips will help break the case.

"We are still looking at inventory and everything to see if anything might be missing," Bankhead said.

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