Navy SEAL Who Wrote American Sniper Murdered at Charity Event in Texas
SooperMexican has the details of the death of Chris Kyle, the author of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, including this report from a local Texas newspaper, the Stephenville Empire-Tribune:
A former Tarleton State University student who wrote the best-selling book, "American Sniper," was one of two victims shot and killed at Rough Creek Lodge Saturday.
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.
Routh, 25, is expected to be charged with capital murder.
Investigators had not released the name of the second victim at press time, but reports indicate he may have been Routh's neighbor.
Bryant said the three men were at the shooting range Saturday when Routh shot the victims at point-blank range before fleeing in Kyle's truck .
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.
A 2012 New York Post article gives a sense of Kyle's accomplishments, and noted that Kyle's official total was 160 killed, "making him the deadliest sniper in US history." The Post reports:
“After the first kill, the others come easy. I don’t have to psych myself up, or do anything mentally — I look through the scope, get the target in the cross hairs and kill my enemy before he kills one of my people,” Kyle writes in his new autobiography, “American Sniper.”
During his 10-year career as a member of SEAL Team 3, Kyle, 37, saw action in every major battle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He became known among his fellow SEALS as “The Legend.”
The enemy was less complimentary.
In Ramadi, insurgents put an $80,000 bounty on his head and branded him “Al-Shaitan Ramadi” — “The Devil of Ramadi.”
“That made me feel like I was actually doing my job and having an effect on the war,” he said.
In north-central Texas, Kyle grew up dipping tobacco, riding horses and hunting deer, turkey and quail — a cowboy at heart.
The Post adds that Kyle "retired a chief petty officer, and along the way, collected an armload of hardware, including two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with valor."
An article at the Daily Caller has more early details regarding Kyle's death:
Kyle, a former Navy SEAL sniper and author of the best-seller “American Sniper,” and a friend were found dead at the Rough Creek Lodge shooting range. According to WWFA-TV in Dallas, “Kyle was shot point-blank while helping another soldier who is recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome.”
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Jack Murphy at the Special Operations Forces Situation Report (SOFREP) published a post regarding the tragic murders on Saturday night, reading in part: “Chris had been volunteering his time to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD and mentoring them. Part of this process involved taking these veterans to the range where one of them snapped and killed Chris and his neighbor for reasons that remain unknown at this time. The perpetrator then stole Chris’ vehicle in an attempt to escape but we have received word that the police have arrested him.”
The Daily Caller adds that Kyle is survived by his wife and two children.
I have a very minor bit of a six degrees of separation connection regarding the location where Kyle was murdered, as Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas, about a two hour drive from Dallas, is the swanky upscale hunting lodge where my wife and I have vacationed once a year or so since 2004. (We were there for a couple of nights just before this past Christmas, in fact.) I even made a video about Rough Creek back in 2007, when I was still getting my Internet video chops together.
SooperMexican notes that the suspect had been reportedly arrested last month for DWI. But clearly he had planned to be at the event, given how far off the main road Rough Creek is located, and then how long of a drive it is from its entry road (County Road #2013) to the parking lot and main facilities compound.
In any case, as SooperMexican writes, "Whatever happened, may he rest in peace, and his murderer is caught quickly and prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law."
Related: Journalist and political consultant David Forsmark reviewed Kyle's autobiography for PJM a year ago, and wrote at the time that it "may not be the best war memoir ever written, but it might be the most unapologetic since George S. Patton’s War as I Knew It." Looking back today retrospect, that's an unfortunate bit of synchronicity with another proud American warrior senselessly killed long before his time.
The Blaze features 10 of the best quotes from Kyle's book.