Irving

Former Staffer Kills Himself Outside Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne's Home

Irving police, FBI investigating the incident outside congresswoman's home

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A man who took his life in front of the home of U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) Wednesday afternoon has been identified as a former staffer, according to the Irving police.

Irving police said officers were called to a shooting outside Van Duyne's home at about 3:30 p.m. When officers arrived, they found an unidentified man on the sidewalk in front of Van Duyne’s house who was dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

An unidentified man took his life in front of the home of Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne Wednesday afternoon. Irving police say the incident happened around 3:45 p.m.

The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday afternoon that the man was identified by Irving police as 55-year-old Richard Christian "Chris" Dillard, a GOP activist and former communications director for Van Duyne's campaign from November 2019 to April 2020.

Irving police said Thursday afternoon that there was no note left behind or any other clue as to why Dillard chose to take his own life in the manner that he did.

I am still shocked and grieving that Chris would take his life. We had known each other for years, he had been to my home numerous times for holiday parties, fantasy football draft parties and get together with friends. The last time I heard from him was over text in early January to share pictures of his family. I have spoken with Chris' mother to offer my condolences and ask how to support her during this difficult time. I am devastated for her, his daughter and grandchildren. We are praying for Chris' family and loved ones and ask that everyone please respect their privacy.

Beth Van Duyne

Robert Reeves, public information officer with the Irving Police Department, said Thursday officers searched his residence and found nothing to indicate Dillard intended to harm anyone other than himself.

A spokesperson for Van Duyne said she heard the gunshot and called the police after spotting the man's body in her front walkway.

Reeves said Van Duyne's family noticed a vehicle outside the home but didn't think much of it and that they had no idea anyone was in the yard until they heard the gunshot.

Reeves said police are trying to learn how Dillard accessed the gated community and that that access did not come from within Van Duyne's home.

In a brief statement released Wednesday immediately following the shooting, Van Duyne’s spokesperson said “She is shocked and saddened that someone would take their own life. We have no further comment at this time. “

Irving police said Wednesday they have communicated with the FBI though the department is still the lead investigating agency.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.

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