The man who killed himself in front of Texas congresswoman Rep. Beth Van Duyne’s home has been identified as her former campaign staffer Richard Christian Dillard.
Dillard, better known as Chris, shot himself dead outside Republican representative Van Duyne’s home in Irving, Texas on Wednesday afternoon, while she was at the property.
The 55-year-old had worked as her communications director campaign and had been active within the Texas GOP.
More recently, Dillard had worked as a public affairs officer for the Texas State Guard.
Van Duyne, who represents Texas’ 24th Congressional District, found Dillard’s body after 3.45pm after she heard a gunshot and opened her front door to see him on the walkway.
While Van Duyne was at home at the time Dillard shot himself, she did not see him take his own life.
Irving Police told KXAS they were investigating how Dillard, who has a daughter and grandchildren, was able to gain access to the gated community that Van Duyne lives in.
Officers confirmed that Dillard had died from a single gunshot wound to the head and added there was no evidence to suggest he had any mental health problems.
Andrea Coker, a spokesperson for the lawmaker, told KTVT earlier this week: “The Irving police arrived immediately and made sure the area was secure, and she has been speaking with them since.
“She is shocked and saddened that someone would take their own life. We have no further comment at this time.”
After Dillard was identified, Van Duyne released a statement on social media where she offered her condolences to his family.
In a statement posted on Twitter, she said: “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 togethers 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’s family and loved ones and ask that everyone please respect their privacy.”
If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours every day.