By PATRICK HILL / Montana State News
Navy SEAL and sniper Chris Kyle was shot and killed at a Texas gun range Saturday. Officials say he and a fried were shot and killed while working with soldiers who had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Kyle, who served four tours of duty in Iraq as a SEAL sniper was the president of Craft International, a training company serving military and law enforcement officials. Credited with the most kills of any American serviceman at 160, Kyle is also author of the bestselling autobiography “American Sniper.”
Around 3:30 p.m. both Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, were at the Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Forth-Worth, when Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine who had also served a tour in Iraq, allegedly shot both men with a semiautomatic handgun and fled the scene. Routh was captured at his home in Lancaster and is currently being held at the Erath County Jail on a $3 million bond.
Motives behind the killings remain unclear as Texas authorities search to make sense of the slayings, though there are suspicions Routh, himself, was mentally unstable.
In a statement released to the Craft International website, CEO Steve Young said, “Chris was a true American hero having devoted his adult life to serving his country in combat as a member of the U.S. Navy SEALs and in training our military and law enforcement personnel after leaving the Navy.”
After leaving the Navy, Kyle worked with other soldiers returning from battlefields to help them overcome issues of PTSD and other traumas. According to the Craft International website, “Chief Kyle lived by a personal motto that ‘it is our duty to serve those, who serve us,’ and he and Littlefield died honoring this creed. Above all else, Chief Kyle was a unique individual and an amazingly loving father, husband, son, brother, friend and devout Christian who had a profound effect on the lives of those he touched.”
Kyle is survived by his wife and two children.
Edited by Madeleine Sherier and Cassdy Geoghegan