DEVASTATING: Hervey Bay’s Chris and Angela Betts. Chris died while working in Iraq on May 12.
DEVASTATING: Hervey Bay’s Chris and Angela Betts. Chris died while working in Iraq on May 12.

Mystery surrounds death of Bay man killed in Baghdad

A TEAM of investigators from the federal police are probing the death of a Hervey Bay father who died after a shooting incident while working at the Australian Embassy in Baghdad.

Chris Betts, 34, a former Australian soldier, was working as a security contractor when he died after a firearm was discharged at the embassy about 2.30am on May 12.

Mr Betts lived in Hervey Bay with his wife Angela.

They are believed to have recently welcomed their first child.

Mr Betts' mother and two sisters are also believed to be living in Hervey Bay.

According to reports, Mr Betts and a colleague, Sun McKay, were playing video games at the time of the incident, with some media outlets suggesting Mr McKay has told investigators that it was an accident and Mr Betts had shot himself.

Both men were working as contractors for private security firm United Resources Group.

Sources close to Mr Betts yesterday disputed the claim that he would self-harm, saying the suggestion was completely out of character, according to media reports.

Other reports have suggested that Mr McKay has been held for questioning over the incident.


But a spokesman from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that Mr McKay had not been detained at any point.

"Media reports claiming he was or is under guard are incorrect," he said.

"A team of investigators from the Australian Federal Police, including forensic experts, is currently in Baghdad conducting an investigation into the incident. They are working in close cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy has been in contact with Iraqi authorities."

The spokesman said following an investigation into Mr Betts' death, the department would consider whether there were "any implications for its security contract with URG".

"We note that there have been a number of claims relating to the management of the security contract. These will be investigated."

The spokesman did not comment on when Mr Betts' body would be returned.

"All appropriate consular assistance is being provided to the deceased man's family. Out of respect for the family's privacy, we won't be commenting further."