'American Sniper' down: Former US Navy SEAL killed at Texas shooting range {Booking Photo Below}

February 4, 2013

The “deadliest sniper in US history” former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has been shot dead together with his friend at a Texan shooting range. A 25-year-old has been charged with two counts of capital murder.

Eddie Ray Routh is accused of using a semi-automatic handgun to shoot former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at Rough Creek Lodge.

"They were shot at close range," said police department spokesman Sergeant Lonny Haschel said.

Authorities claim that after the incident, Routh drove to his sister's home where he told her and his brother-in-law about the murders. After he left, his relatives notified the police.

Following a brief pursuit, Routh was arrested at his Lancaster, Texas home several hours after the shooting.  The handgun believed to have been used in the murders was found at Routh's home.

Local media describe the alleged killer as a former Marine who suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

One of the victims, Chris Kyle is known to be one of American best snipers, with 160 successful missions with the Navy Seals. It has also been alleged that Kyle had been volunteering to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD which sometime involved taking these veterans to the shooting range.

Apparently, it is during this type of visit that ex- Marine Routh murdered Kyle and Littlefield.

Kyle was one of the people, whose opinion was taken into account in the ongoing gun control debate, following the massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut in December. Kyle, a two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for bravery receiver, was interviewed in January about curbing US gun violence on Guns.com. His position favored arming teachers who have been trained and spoke against restrictions on gun owners.

Eddie Ray Routh is pictured in this booking photo provided by the Erath County Sheriffís Office. Routh is a suspect in the shooting and killing of former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle. (Reuters)Eddie Ray Routh is pictured in this booking photo provided by the Erath County Sheriffís Office. Routh is a suspect in the shooting and killing of former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle. (Reuters)

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