Who Killed Chris Kyle: Christopher Scott Kyle, a sharpshooter for the US Navy SEALs, died on February 2, 2013, on April 8, 1974. He served in the Iraq War for four deployments and received numerous awards for brave deeds and honorable service in battle.
He received the Silver Star, four Bronze Star Medals with “V” devices for bravery, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a “V” device, and numerous additional unit and individual awards. He has over 150 confirmed kills.
In 2009, Kyle received an honorable discharge from the United States Navy. In 2012, he released his best-selling autobiography, American Sniper. Two years later, Clint Eastwood’s cinematic adaptation of Kyle’s book with Bradley Cooper in the title role was removed.
Eddie Ray Routh killed Kyle in 2013 at the Rough Creek Lodge shooting range close to Chalk Mountain, Texas. After being found guilty, Routh—a former Marine with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—was sentenced to life without parole.
Who Killed Chris Kyle?
Eddie Ray Routh shot and killed Kyle on February 2, 2013, along with his friend Chad Littlefield, 35, at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas.
Kyle and Littlefield had.45-caliber 1911-style pistols with them when they were slain, but none of the weapons had been discharged or taken out of their holsters; the safety catches were still engaged. Littlefield was shot with a 9 mm SIG Sauer pistol, whereas Kyle was slain by a.45 caliber pistol. Kyle was the owner of both weapons.
American Marine Corps veteran Routh, 25, was from Lancaster, Texas. Routh was reportedly taken to a shooting range by Kyle and Littlefield to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Routh was identified as having schizophrenia and had spent at least two years in and out of mental facilities. According to his relatives, he experienced PTSD during his service.
Kyle texted Littlefield to the shooting range, “This dude is straight-up insane.” Military slang for “watch my back” was Littlefield’s response, “Watch my six.”
In his detention cell four months later, Routh revealed the following to Gene Cole, a retired deputy sheriff from Erath County: “Nobody spoke to me when I was sitting in the truck’s rear seat alone. I fired them as they were escorting me to the shooting range. I regret it, but they wouldn’t engage in conversation with me. They probably pardoned me.”
After the killings, Routh went to his sister’s home in Midlothian and told her what he had done. Laura Blevins, his sister, called 9-1-1 and provided the operator with the following information: “They visited a shooting range outside. He’s all wild, like. He has schizophrenia.” After a brief highway chase that ended when Routh, who had fled the scene in Kyle’s Ford F-350 truck, struck a police car in Lancaster, local police were able to apprehend Routh.
Later that day, Routh was charged with two charges of capital murder and transferred to the Erath County Jail to be held instead of a $3 million bond. His trial was initially scheduled to start on May 5, 2014, but it was postponed to give him more time to meet the demands of DNA testing. On February 11, 2015, the trial formally began.
Routh was convicted guilty of killing Kyle and Littlefield on February 24, 2015. After less than three hours of discussion, the jury announced their decision.
Routh was promptly given a life sentence without the possibility of parole by trial judge Jason Cashon since the prosecution had already decided against seeking the death penalty. The Ramsey Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is where Routh is detained in Rosharon, Texas.
On February 11, 2013, a memorial service was conducted at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. On February 12, 2013, Kyle was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a more than 200-mile funeral procession from Midlothian (320 km). Hundreds of people lined Interstate 35, many carrying American flags, to watch the passing parade and pay their respects to Kyle.
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Why Was Chris Kyle Killed?
Only a few days after Routh was released against his mother’s wishes, Jodi went to Kyle for help with her son’s issues. Chris Kyle offered to talk to her son about his military experiences and mental health issues because Jodi worked at the school his children attended.
Kyle, who was married to Taya and had two kids, chose to go to the shooting range with Littlefield and Routh, who was 25 at the time. During the trial, the court learned that Routh had consumed alcohol and marijuana the night before.
A large number of weaponry in the truck unnerved him, and he claimed Kyle and Littlefield “wouldn’t talk to me,” leading him to assume they intended to murder him.
After the killings, Routh recounted, “I was riding in the truck’s back seat, and nobody would talk to me. They were merely transporting me to the shooting range when I shot them. I apologize, but they won’t discuss it with me. Most likely, they have pardoned me.
While driving, Kyle texted Littlefield, “This dude is straight out insane.” Watch my six, Littlefield said, referring to his back in military jargon. “He’s right behind me,” he added. Later, Routh was armed with a Springfield.45 pistol and a 9mm Sig Sauer P226 MK25 handgun, both carried by Navy Seals.
He switched to Kyle and fired six rounds at him with the 9mm handgun after shooting seven shots at Littlefield. Kyle’s black Ford pickup was subsequently driven away from the scene by Routh, who then brought it to his uncle’s house and urged him to “check out my truck.”
I’m operating a deceased man’s truck, he said. Littlefield was shot with a 9mm SIG Sauer P226 Mk.25 Mod 0 pistol, while Kyle was killed by a.45 caliber pistol. Kyle was the owner of both weapons.
How Did He Start His Military Career?
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Kyle visited a military recruitment station because he wanted to join the special operations division of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was persuaded to try out for the SEALs instead by a U.S. Navy recruiter.
On August 5, 1998, he joined the US Navy, and on February 10, 1999, he reported for basic training. In April 1999, he completed his basic training at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.
From April through July 1999, he participated in additional training as an intelligence specialist at NMITC Dam Neck, Virginia, and from August 1999 to March 2000, at NPC Millington, Tennessee.
The pins in Kyle’s arm first prevented him from being accepted. Still, eventually, he was permitted to attend the 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) training (BUD/S) program at NAB Coronado, California. After graduating in March 2001 with Class 233, Kyle underwent SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) at NAB Coronado from May to August.
Kyle served in several of the critical battles of the Iraq War while assigned to SEAL Team-3, sniper element, Platoon “Charlie” (later “Cadillac”), within the Naval Special Warfare Command. Kyle completed four tours of service.
During the initial invasion, he fired his first long-range kill shot at a lady carrying a hand grenade as she approached a group of Marines. According to CNN, the mother held a young child in her other hand. As instructed, Kyle started firing, killing the woman before she could strike.