Sunday, February 03, 2013

Deadliest sniper in U.S. military history is 'shot and killed point-blank by veteran suffering from PTSD' at Texas gun range

A former Navy Seal, expert sniper and best-selling author was reportedly gunned down at a Texas shooting range Saturday by a veteran who is recovering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Ex-Navy Seal Chris Kyle, 39, and another man were shot point-blank around 3:30 p.m. at a charity event on behalf of Kyle's security firm at the gun range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in Erath County.

The suspect, 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh, was arrested roughly five hours later in Lancaster, Texas after a police chase. He was driving Kyle's truck at the time of the arrest, police said.

Investigators told ABC affiliate WFAA-TV that Routh is a former Marine who was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Kyle, a husband and father of two, authored the New York Times best-seller 'American Sniper,' which chronicled his four tours in Iraq. The book hit shelves last month.

He recorded more than 150 sniper kills - the most in U.S. military history - between 1999 and 2009.

His military awards include two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.

While in Iraq, Kyle survived being shot twice and he lived through six separate IED explosions as his unit, Charlie company of SEAL Team Three, saw significant combat.

Despite the astonishing number of people he has shot, Kyle has said he never second-guessed himself since the first time he had to pull the trigger on a grenade-wielding woman in Iraq.

'It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war,' he told Texas Monthly. 'The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.'

He left the service in 2009 in order to 'save his marriage' he told his publisher.

After leaving the Navy, he started his own military contracting firm, Craft International, which provides military and law enforcement sniper training, as well as private security and protection.


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