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Man Charged In Death Of ‘American Sniper’ Author

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
February 3, 2013

Update at 12:51 p.m. More Details

The New York Times has more details on the shooting that led to the death of the author of American Sniper and another man. Here’s what The Times report says:

“Since retiring from the Navy SEALS, Chris Kyle, who was known as America’s deadliest sniper, would occasionally take fellow veterans shooting as a kind of therapy to salve battlefield scars.

“Mr. Kyle, author of the best selling book ‘American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,’ was with a struggling former soldier on just such an outing on Saturday, hoping a day at a shooting range would bring some relief, said a friend, Travis Cox.

“But Texas authorities said Sunday that for unknown reasons, the man turned on Mr. Kyle and a second man, Chad Littlefield, shooting and killing both before fleeing.”

Our original post:

A 25-year-old man has been charged with killing the author of American Sniper and another person at a Texas gun range.

Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, a best seller that detailed his more than 150 kills of insurgents between 1999 and 2009. He also set up FITCO, a nonprofit that helped soldiers deal with PTSD.

Here’s more the Texas Empire Tribune, which first reported on the story:

“Chris Kyle, 38, and another man were found dead at Rough Creek’s shooting range between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday, according to Sheriff Tommy Bryant.

“Eddie Ray Routh, an Iraqi war veteran, was arrested hours later after a manhunt led authorities to Lancaster where Routh was taken into custody just before 9 p.m. Saturday.”

The three men were at the shooting range Saturday when Routh “shot them at point-blank range,” the newspaper reported. Police say Routh then fled in Kyle’s truck.

The Associated Press reported that Routh of Lancaster, Texas, was arraigned Saturday on two counts of capital murder.

Here’s more background on Kyle from the newspaper:

“Kyle was a former Navy SEAL who served four tours of duty in Iraq, where he was given the nickname “The Devil of Ramadi” by insurgents.

“In 2008, he made his longest successful shot after he spotted an insurgent with a rocket launcher near a U.S. Army convoy at a range of 2,100 yards.”

A statement from Travis Cox, director of the nonprofit FITCO, called Kyle a hero. Here’s more from the release:

“Chris Kyle was a hero for his courageous efforts protecting our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL during four tours of combat. Moreover, he was a hero for his efforts stateside when he helped develop the FITCO Cares Foundation. What began as a plea for help from Chris looking for in-home fitness equipment for his brothers- and sisters-in-arms struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) became an organization that will carry that torch proudly in his honor.

“Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion – serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD. His service, life and premature death will never be in vain. May God watch over his family and all those who considered Chris a true friend.”

Kyle is survived by his wife, Taya, and their children, the statement added.

Kyle was interviewed about his book by Kansas City Public Media last year. That interview can be heard here. You can also listen to his interview, also last year, with member station KERA here. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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