FAMED MILITARY SNIPER THAT WAS MURDERED
Was trying to help solider suffering from PTSD
February 04, 2013
(STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS) -- Famed former Navy SEAL sniper and "American Sniper" book author Chris Kyle may have lost his life while trying to help a fellow solider who was suffering from PTSD.
Famed former Navy SEAL sniper and "American Sniper" book author Chris Kyle who was murdered Sunday. CLICK TO ENLARGE
There are reports that Kyle was attempting to help out 25-year-old Iraq war veteran Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster, Texas who has been charged with murdering Kyle, 38, and a friend and neighbor of Kyle’s, Chad Littlefield, 35, Sunday at a shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Routh, who was arraigned Sunday, was being held on one charge of capital murder and two charges of murder.
Capt. Jason Upshaw with the Erath County Sheriff's Office said it is believed that Routh used a semi-automatic handgun to kill both men. Sheriff’s officers recovered a gun at Routh’s home they believe is the murder weapon.
What is known is that Kyle and his friend and neighbor Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range, according to Travis Cox, the director of a nonprofit organization that Kyle helped found.
He says both men, “Took a veteran out shooting who was struggling with PTSD to try to assist him, try to help him, try to, you know, give him a helping hand and he turned the gun on both of them, killing them," Cox said.
Kyle, Littlefield and Routh went to the shooting range around 3:15 p.m. Saturday. A hunting guide at Rough Creek Lodge came across the bodies of Kyle and Littlefield around 5 p.m. and called 911.
Sheriff Tommy Bryant said the suspect Routh, who was unemployed and "may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself,” left the shooting range in Kyle's black pickup truck and first went to his sister's home in Midlothian, where he told her and her husband what he had done.
Routh then left and the couple called police to report what Routh had told them. Routh arrived at his home in Lancaster, about 17 miles from Dallas, at about 8:00 p.m. and police arrested him after a brief pursuit.
Routh, who is being held on $3 Million bond, has not made any comments indicating what a motive may have been.
The U.S. military confirmed Sunday that Routh was a corporal in the Marines and had served active duty from 2006 to 2010. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2010. His current duty status was listed as reserve.
Kyle wrote a best-selling book called, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” which told of his over 150 kills of insurgents with a sniper rifle from 1999 to 2009.
After publication of the book Kyle was sued by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura over a segment that claimed Kyle punched Ventura in a 2006 bar fight over some alleged unpatriotic remarks Ventura made.
Ventura says the punch never happened and that the claim by Kyle defamed him so he sued. A federal judge said the lawsuit should proceed, despite efforts by Kyle to have the suit dismissed, and both sides were told to be ready for trial by August of this year.
There is an extensive interview with Kyle done on C-SPAN during his book promotion tour. It can be found here .