Chris Kyle, former Navy Seal turned author, murdered at gun range by Eddie Ray Routh
The death of Navy Seal Chris Kyle comes as a shock, but even more so, as the shooter was a man Kyle was attempting to help.
Eddie Ray Routh, age 25, is a veteran who served in Iraq and Haiti and who police say may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military.
Kyle, who was known as America’s deadliest sniper, was killed Saturday at a gun range in Erath County, Texas. Routh also shot a second man, identified by police as 35-year-old Chad Littlefield, was also shot at point-blank range and killed.
Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the shooting range to aid his recovery, police said.
“My heart is breaking,” Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares, the non-profit foundation Kyle co-founded to help ease veterans back into civilian life, said in a statement.
“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.”
Routh will be charged with two counts of capital murder, police said today.
While the details of Routh’s mental health are unclear, up to 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD, according to a 2008 RAND study.