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Friday, 12 February 2021

Man, 55, who shot himself dead outside Texas congresswoman Beth Van Duyne's house while she was inside is revealed to be her 2020 campaign comms director

 A man who shot himself dead outside Texas congresswoman Beth Van Duyne's house has been identified as her 2020 campaign communications director. 

Richard Christian 'Chris' Dillard killed himself outside the freshman Republican's home in a gated community in Irving, just outside Dallas, on Wednesday afternoon.

Dillard, 55, was a former campaign staffer, political consultant and a Republican activist.

According to his LinkedIn, Dillard was Van Duyne's communications director between November 2019 to April 2020 for her campaign for Congress.  

Richard Christian 'Chris' Dillard, 55, killed himself outside Texas congresswoman Beth Van Duyne's home in a gated community in Irving, just outside Dallas, on Wednesday afternoon

Richard Christian 'Chris' Dillard, 55, killed himself outside Texas congresswoman Beth Van Duyne's home in a gated community in Irving, just outside Dallas, on Wednesday afternoon

Dillard, 55, was a former campaign staffer, political consultant and a Republican activist
According to his LinkedIn, Dillard was Van Duyne's communications director between November 2019 to April 2020 for her campaign for Congress

Dillard, 55, was a former campaign staffer, political consultant and a Republican activist. According to his LinkedIn, Dillard was Van Duyne's communications director between November 2019 to April 2020 for her campaign for Congress

Dallas County GOP spokesman William Busby told the Dallas Morning News that Dillard wanted a job Van Duyne's Congressional office following her election but wasn't offered one. 

Dillard went on to work as a public affairs officer for the Texas State Guard. 

Police said they found Dillard's body on the sidewalk outside Van Duyne's home at about 3.45pm in response to a 911 call.

Authorities confirmed Dillard, who has a daughter, died of a single gunshot wound. 

Van Duyne and her family were inside the home at the time but no one witnessed Dillard's suicide. 

Police said those inside the home heard the single gunshot and then saw the man's body on the sidewalk just off the property. 

There is no indication of any history of mental health, according to police.  

Dallas County GOP spokesman William Busby told the Dallas Morning News that Dillard wanted a job Van Duyne’s Congressional office following her election but wasn't offered one

Dallas County GOP spokesman William Busby told the Dallas Morning News that Dillard wanted a job Van Duyne's Congressional office following her election but wasn't offered one

Authorities would not speculate on the cause of his death, saying only that there was no note that could explain his reasoning. 

In a statement from a spokesperson, Van Duyne said she was 'shocked and grieving' over Dillard's death. 

'I've known him for years and he had been in my home numerous times for holiday parties, fantasy football drafts and get togethers with friends,' her statement said. 

'I last heard from him over text in early January to share pictures of his family.'

Van Duyne went on to say that she had spoken to Dillard's mother and offered her condolences. 

'I'm devastated for her, her daughter and grandchildren,' the statement said. 

It was not immediately clear how Dillard gained access to the gated community.  

Dillard went on to work as a public affairs officer for the Texas State Guard after Van Duyne's campaign. He is pictured above with Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Allen West

Dillard went on to work as a public affairs officer for the Texas State Guard after Van Duyne's campaign. He is pictured above with Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas Allen West

There is no indication of any history of mental health, according to police
Authorities would not speculate on the cause of his death, saying only that there was no note that could explain his reasoning

There is no indication of any history of mental health, according to police. Authorities would not speculate on the cause of his death, saying only that there was no note that could explain his reasoning

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