Former Navy SEAL and author of the best-selling book “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, 38, and a friend were killed yesterday at a central Texas gun range.
A 25-year-old Texas man Eddie Ray Routh was charged with two counts of murder. Police said the shooting occurred at 3:30 p.m. (CST) Saturday at the Rough Creek Lodge, west of Glen Rose, Texas, 50 miles southwest of Forth Worth. The other victim was 35-year-old Chad Littlefield.
Reports indicate that Routh was a returning war veteran who was suffering from mental trauma and having a hard time getting back on his feet. Kyle was known to give a helping hand to veterans and started the nonprofit FITCO Cares, which provides for at-home fitness equipment to vets suffering physical or psychological wounds of war.
Kyle was one of America’s most recognizable warriors and is credited with over 150 kills of insurgents in Iraq between 1999 and 2009. The full title of his book was “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.”
The warrior had once made headlines for the claim that in 2006 he decked former Minnesota governor and fellow Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura, for crude remarks Ventura allegedly made toward Kyle and other fighting men.
Kyle said many SEALS were gathered at a bar and Ventura questioned the ethics of today’s SEALs and whether the USA was on the right side of history in Iraq. Ventura denied the incident occurred and a civil lawsuit against Kyle was due for trial later this year.
Routh is being held on $3 million bond. Kyle is survived by his wife, Taya, and their children.
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