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Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who was the U.S. military’s deadliest sharpshooter and wrote the best-selling book American Sniper, was fatally shot Saturday in a double slaying at an Erath County gun range, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
Kyle was at a charity event at the gun range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort on behalf of his Dallas-based security firm Craft International.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said that the three men -- Eddie Ray Routh, former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, arrived to Rough Creek Lodge and Resort around 3:15 pm. Kyle and Littlefield were found dead around 5 p.m. Investigators said that Routh, a former Marine, shot Kyle and Littlefield at point-blank range then fled the gun range in Kyle's Ford pickup truck.
Police were contacted by Routh’s sister and brother-in-law, who live in Midlothian, after Routh told them what he had done. When they arrived to his home in Lancaster to arrest him and saw Kyle’s pickup truck at the home, Routh tried to flee in the pickup. The brief pursuit ended in an arrest around 8:34 p.m.
Routh is currently unemployed, Bryant said. He could not confirm whether Routh was on medication or was diagnosed with PTSD.
Routh’s mother, who is a teacher, may have contacted Kyle to “help her son,” Bryant said at the press conference. “We have an idea that that’s why they were at the range, for some kind of therapy that Mr. Kyle assists people with.”
Kyle deployed four times to Iraq and held the record for number of kills by an American sniper. The Pentagon has confirmed more than 150 of his kills. The previous record was 109.
For his service, Kyle was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with Valor.
Kyle told The News in 2012 that he wrote American Sniper because “I wanted to be able to let people know about the sacrifices that not only people in the service make, but what their families go through. I knew this would give me a voice so I could speak about the guys I know who were killed. I wanted to get their story out and I wanted to raise awareness for veterans.
“It is so hard becoming a civilian,” Kyle said. “When you are in the military, everything you do is for the greater good. And as a civilian, everything you do is for your own good.
“When you’re in the military, you are facing life and death every day. And then you come home and hear people who are unhappy about the little things. And you think, are you kidding me? Two weeks ago, I was shot. And this is your problem. … They train us how to become warriors, but then they don’t teach us and train us how to become businessmen.”
Kyle is survived by his wife, Taya, and two children.
Source: Dallas Morning News
Very good decision to post, as I was struggling with the decision myself. My greatest respect and love for this great hero and warrior. He died trying to save a life and for that, he will always be remembered. I wish I could drum up some harsh words for his murder, as I do think PTSD is sometimes over-used, however, I will save my opinions until after the trial. I wish the families of these two great men, God's Blessed love and strength for the upcoming months and years of healing.
Couldn't have said it better myself Chief! Rest in Peace brother Kyle and my condolences to his family and friends.
RIP Chris Kyle.