Sad news today after former Navy Seal Chris Kyle was gunned down at a Texas shooting range Saturday, while helping a 25-year-old former Marine, Eddie Ray Routh, who is recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The biggest question in everyone’s mind is why would Routh turn on Chris Kyle and murder him?
Chris Kyle, the former Navy Seal, expert sniper and best-selling author, was shot at point-blank range, along with his neighbor Chad Littlefield, at the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in Erath County.
The suspect, 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh, was arrested five hours after the shooting in Lancaster, Texas driving Kyle’s truck.
Eddie Ray Routh was arraigned Saturday evening on two counts of capital murder. Officer Kyle Roberts at the Erath County Jail said Routh arrived there Sunday morning and is being held on a combined $3 million bond.
Routh, 25, is a former Marine who was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Chris Kyle, 39, and his neighbor Chad Littlefield, 35, were shot in the back while helping Routh battle his demons for the veterans charity FITCO Cares Foundation.
Erath County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a shooting at the Rough Creek Lodge, west of Glen Rose, at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Police found the bodies of Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, at the shooting range.
Kyle, who leaves behind a wife named Taya and two children, wrote the New York Times best-selling book “American Sniper”, that chronicled his four tours in Iraq.
He notched up 255 kills during the Iraq war and was so feared by insurgents that they put a $80,000 bounty on his head and nicknamed him al-Shaitan Ramad, “the Devil of Ramadi”.
Kyle’s military awards include two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.
Chris survived being shot twice and he lived through six separate IED explosions as his unit, Charlie company of SEAL Team Three, during the war.
Kyle has said he never second-guessed himself when he had to pull the trigger on a grenade-wielding woman in Iraq.
He said, “It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.”
Chris Kyle left the service in 2009 to “save his marriage”.
After leaving the Navy, he started his own military contracting firm, Craft International, which provides military and law enforcement sniper training.
ABC News reported that senior military commanders and former colleagues of Kyle were heartbroken at the death of a “legend”.
The co-author of Kyle’s book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History”, Jim DeFelice, said Chris was “an incredible guy who was always about family, about country and about God.”
DeFelice said, “During his life he struggled to get those into the proper order. It was always God first, but he struggled sometimes with how to balance his responsibility to his country with his responsibility to his family.”
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Images: Star Telegram/AP