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Russ Martin, Dallas-Fort Worth radio show host, found dead in his home, police say – The Dallas Morning News

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https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2021/02/27/russ-martin-dallas-fort-worth-radio-show-host-found-dead-in-his-home-police-say/

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This is developing story and will be updated.

Frisco police are investigating the death of long-time North Texas radio show host Russ Martin after his body was found in his home early Saturday.

Officers were dispatched about 12:30 a.m. Saturday to the 6300 block of Douglas Avenue, near Lebanon Road and the Dallas North Tollway, after a friend of Martin’s who had come to check on him found him unresponsive, police said.

Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The cause of death had not been determined, but police said foul play was not suspected. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Frisco police at 972-292-6010.

Martin was host of The Russ Martin Show on “The Eagle” KEGL-FM (97.1).

“It’s with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of 97.1 The Eagle’s Russ Martin,” the station said in a written statement. “He will be dearly missed & we send our deepest condolences to his family & friends during this difficult time.”

The station’s regular programming was interrupted Saturday afternoon to give Martin’s colleagues an opportunity to discuss the news as well as Martin’s life and his career.

“Our friend is gone,” said Dan O’Malley. “We’re all still processing this.”

An emotional Clo Raborn, who was part of Martin’s show, said he had hardly slept since learning of Mratin’s death.

“I wish there was something we could say to make it better,” Raborn told listeners.

During their impromptu program Saturday, Martin’s colleagues thanked the Grapevine Police Department for its help in finding and notifying Martin’s mother. They also thanked Frisco police for their help.

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Martin’s colleagues said the station would plan a proper tribute in the coming days. They wrapped up an hour of programming by offering a toast to him.

Martin’s co-hosts said that although he had faced some personal struggles, he had worked hard to help the community through his foundation. After the 2016 downtown Dallas ambush that left five police officers dead, Martin’s The Russ Martin Show Listeners Foundation raised up to $40,000 for the victims’ families.

O’Malley said Martin had recently donated $40,000 to the widow of Mitchell Penton, a Dallas police officer who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

“I want you to know that,” O’Malley told listeners, describing the donation as one of Martin’s final acts before his death. “Despite everything he was going through, he managed to pick up a pen and sign the check.”

In a tweet, the Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association offered prayers to Martin’s family and colleagues.

“We will always remember his generosity and support of fallen police officers and their families,” the association said in a tweet.

Jeff Kovarsky, area radio host and Dallas Stars PA announcer, also lamented Martin’s death on Twitter.

“I got to know Russ the past decade at iHM Dallas,” Kovarsky said in a tweet, referencing iHeartMedia. “His Listeners Foundation did incredible work supporting families of fallen heroes. He always treated me with kindness and respect.”

In September 2008, a Tarrant County grand jury issued a misdemeanor assault complaint against Martin after his arrest two months earlier on suspicion of hitting his fiancé and brandishing a gun at their home in Southlake. The panel declined to indict him on more serious charges.

In 2015, Martin was robbed at gunpoint by three armed men who confronted him in masks as he arrived at his Frisco home. The men duct-taped Martin to a chair and held him at gunpoint while they confiscated valuables, including several firearms. They fled in his 2010 Dodge Challenger, police said.

Those involved in the heist were handed sentences ranging from just under 12 years to 62 years in prison.

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