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Ex-staffer kills himself outside Texas lawmaker’s house

A former staffer for Rep. Beth Van Duyne’s (R-Texas) congressional campaign died by suicide in front of her home in Texas.

Officer Robert Reeves, public information officer for the Irving Police Department, confirmed in a press conference Thursday afternoon that Chris Dillard killed himself outside of the congresswoman’s home.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Dillard was the communications director for Beth Van Duyne for Congress from November 2019 to April 2020.

The Dallas Morning News first reported Dillard’s identity.

“I’m 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-togethers with friends. The last time I heard from him was over text in early January, to share pictures of his family,” Van Duyne said in a statement read during the conference by her spokesperson Andrea Coker.

“I’ve spoken with Chris’s mother to offer my condolences and asked her how to support her during this difficult time,” the statement said. “I’m devastated for her his daughter and grandchildren, we are praying for Chris’s family and loved ones and ask that everyone please respect their privacy. Thank you.”

Earlier on Thursday, Reeves told The Hill by phone that officers responded to a shooting call at her home at around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.

When the officer arrived, he found a man who was deceased from a single gunshot wound, with the gun still in his possession. The man was lying on a sidewalk leading up to the front porch of the home.

Reeves said that Van Duyne was in her home with other people at the time of the shooting and only heard the gunshot. He said the congresswoman looked out the window and saw someone lying on the ground with a gun in their hand and immediately called 911.

Reeves said during the news conference that officers searched Dillard’s home and found nothing indicating a motive or any other threat to the congresswoman. 

Irving Capitol Police is leading the investigation into the incident.

This post was updated at 4:48 p.m. to reflect the identity of the former staffer who killed himself.

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