By Jane Nambi
His sniper skills earned him the nickname, ‘Devil of Ramadi’ from the Iraqis and back home in America, he turned into a best-selling author and a mentor to others and one of them shot him dead at his home in Texas.
Chris Kyle was shot dead at his home at gun range by 25-year-old Marine, Eddie Ray Routh who served tours in Iraq and Haiti. Kyle took veterans shooting a gun range near his home in Texas as a kind of therapy to help them deal with the war scars. He was shot dead on Saturday.
It is still unclear as to why Routh shot and killed Kyle, 38 and another man, Chad Littlefield, 35, shortly after they arrived at an exclusive shooting range near Glen Rose, Tex., about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. After shooting and killing them, Routh is said to have fled the scene in a pick up truck belonging to Mr. Kyle. Routh used a semiautomatic handgun to kill the two men.
“Chad and Chris had taken a veteran out to shoot to try to help him,” said Travis Cox, a friend of Mr. Kyle’s. “And they were killed.” Routh was captured a few hours later near his home in Lancaster, a southern Dallas suburb and is to be charged with two counts of capital murder.
Friends of Kyle said that he had dedicated his entire life, after service to help soldiers to deal with civilian life after life serving because he was well acquainted with the difficulties soldiers. Kyle retired in 2009 and wanted to help soldiers overcome the traumas of war. “He served this country with extreme honor, but came home and was a servant leader in helping his brothers and sisters dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Mr. Cox, also a former military sniper. “Everyone has their own inner struggles, but he was very proactive about the things he was dealing with.”
In 2011, Mr.Kyle created the Fitco Cares Foundation to provide veterans with exercise equipment and counseling they needed believing that the exercise and the camaraderie of fellow veterans could help former soldiers ease into civilian life.
Mr. Kyle, lived outside of Dallas with his wife and their two children. After retiring from the Navy SEALs, Mr. Kyle too had problems adjusting. He had been deployed in Iraq during the worst years of the insurgency and his job was to provide “overwatch,” preventing enemy fighters from ambushing Marine units.
In his book, ‘American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History”, Kyle led us into what really went down, in mind and body during the time of service. A section in his book talked about two weeks just after being deployed in Iraq, he found himself face to face with an unconventional enemy, a woman with a child standing close by. She had pulled a grenade from beneath her clothes as several Marines approached. He hesitated, he wrote, then shot. “It was my duty to shoot, and I don’t regret it,” he wrote. “My shots saved several Americans, whose lives were clearly worth more than that woman’s twisted soul.”
Kyle is credited with more than 150 kills. Describing his longest kill, Kyle wrote, “Maybe the way I jerked the trigger to the right adjusted for the wind. Maybe gravity shifted and put that bullet right where it had to be. Whatever, I watched through my scope as the shot hit the Iraqi, who tumbled over the wall to the ground.”
Investigations, according to Sheriff Tommy Bryant of Erath County are still going on.