One of our nation’s greatest military heroes fell today, allegedly at the hands of another veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL sniper with 255 kills (160 confirmed kills) in Iraq, was one of two men murdered at an Erath County, Texas shooting range at approximately 3:30 pm CST, Saturday, February 2, 2013.
A suspect, identified by police as Eddie Routh, 25, was arrested in his home at 8:30 pm CST. The second victim has been identified as Chad Littlefield, 35, a friend and neighbor of Mr. Kyle. Both of the murdered men, and the alleged shooter, lived in Midlothian, Texas.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant, confirmed the capture of the suspect:
“The suspect has been caught and is in custody in Lancaster. Erath County sheriff’s investigators and Texas Rangers are securing a capital murder warrant.”
According to local station WFAA/Channel 8, an unnamed source reported that Kyle and Littlefield took Routh to the range to help him deal with his PTSD. Routh is alleged to have turned on his friends, shot them both in the back, and then fled in Kyle’s pickup truck.
Kyle, 38, leaves behind a wife and two children. During his 10 years as a Navy SEAL, during which he served four combat tours in Iraq, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.
In 2012, Chris went on a national media tour to promote his autobiography, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. While he was being interviewed on the Opie and Anthony Radio Show on January 4, 2012, Kyle began to talk about an infamous alleged altercation he had with former Governor of Minnesota and fellow Navy SEAL, Jesse Ventura.
Chris claimed he punched Ventura in the face after the Governor made derogatory comments about the troops. The altercation is alleged to have take place at the 2006 wake for Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who was killed in action in Iraq. Ventura vehemently denied the altercation ever took place and sued Kyle for defamation. The case remained unresolved at the time of Kyle’s murder.
During his four tours of duty in Iraq, Kyle was shot twice and wounded in six separate IED explosions. He left the military in 2009 and moved to Texas to live with his wife Taya and raise his children. At the time of his death, Kyle was the President of Craft International, a company that provides military, law enforcement, and civilian training, and private security services.
Chief Petty Officer Kyle was so feared by the insurgents in Iraq that they named him Al-Shaitan Ramadi (The Devil of Rahmadi) and placed a $80,000 bounty on his head. His total of 160 confirmed kills made Kyle the most successful sniper in American military history. Kyle surpassed the total of his personal hero, the legendary White Feather, Carlos Hathcock, a USMC sniper with 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam.
The Inquisitr salutes Chris Kyle for his courage and service to the American People. We send our heart felt condolences to his wife and family. Go with grace, Chris, you earned your rest. Non sibi sed patriae.
— Jason Allen Hathaway (@jasonhathaway) February 3, 2013
BREAKING:3 sources tell News 8 Navy sniper Chris Kyle was murdered tonight at gun range near Glen Rose.Suspect in custody in Lancaster. — Sandra Turner (@wfaasandra) February 3, 2013
This is the Chris Kyle I knew. A man who worked tirelessly for other veterans. The world has lost an amazing man. twitter.com/brittneyboop/s…
— Brittney (@brittneyboop) February 3, 2013