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February 4, 2013

Man charged in fatal shooting of ex-SEAL/author

GLEN ROSE, Texas (AP) — A 25-year-old man was charged with murder in connection with a shooting at a central Texas gun range that killed former Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle and his friend, the Texas Department of Public Safety said yesterday.

Sgt. Lonny Haschel said in a news release that 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster was arraigned Saturday evening on two counts of capital murder. Officer Kyle Roberts at the Erath County Jail said Routh arrived there yesterday and is being held on a combined $3 million bond. Roberts did not have information on whether Routh had a lawyer.

Haschel said Erath County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a shooting at the Rough Creek Lodge, west of Glen Rose, at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Police found the bodies of Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, at the shooting range about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said he did not know where Kyle and Littlefield were hit because he had not yet received the medical examiner’s report.

Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the range, said Travis Cox, the director of a nonprofit Kyle helped found. Littlefield was Kyle’s neighbor and “workout buddy,” Cox told The Associated Press yesterday.

“What I know is Chris and a gentleman — great guy, I knew him well, Chad Littlefield — took a veteran out shooting who was struggling with PTSD to try to assist him, try to help him, try to, you know, give him a helping hand and he turned the gun on both of them, killing them,” Cox said.

Police said Routh opened fire on Kyle and Littlefield around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and then fled in a Ford pickup truck, which Bryant said was Kyle’s truck. At about 8 p.m., Routh arrived at his home in Lancaster, about 17 miles southeast of Dallas. Police arrested him after a brief pursuit and took him to the Lancaster Police Department.

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