An American veteran is facing gun charges in Virginia following the suicide of a fellow veteran.
Nicholas Ranstad once set the US record in Afghanistan for the longest shot made by an American sniper.
While deployed in Afghanistan with the 1-91st Airborne Calvary, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Recon Platoon, in 2010 he used an M107 .50 caliber rifle to set the record with a confirmed sniper kill on a Taliban insurgent 1.3 miles away.
He was arrested by Warren County deputies on May 4 after he fired four shots in anguish, an emotional reaction to the discovery of his friend’s body.
Ranstad had notified authorities to the suicide of Sean David Miller, a Marine veteran that Ranstad regularly checked on.
Prior to the arrest, Ranstad went to do a well-being check on Miller after not hearing from him for some time. According to NBC Washington, Ranstad was forced to go through the window of Miller’s home, where he found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Distraught, Ranstad fired four rounds into the floor of the house with his own pistol, later notifying law enforcement of the suicide. Upon arrival, he was arrested for reckless handling of a firearm.
Miller’s death was ruled a suicide, and the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney will decide whether or not to proceed or dismiss the charges.
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