Eddie Ray Routh shot dead American Sniper Chris Kyle
Eddie Ray Routh, a veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been identified as the suspect in the deadly shooting of American Sniper Chris Kyle.
Chris Kyle, 39, was blasted in the back by Eddie Ray Routh, 25, after taking him on an outing to a shooting range to help him deal with his demons.
Eddie Ray Routh also allegedly shot dead his neighbor Chad Littlefield, 35, who was on the trip too.
Chris Kyle’s death sparked a huge outpouring of tributes across America with many saying that he was a “true American hero”.
He notched up 255 kills during the Iraq war and became so feared by insurgents they put a $80,000 bounty on his head and nicknamed him al-Shaitan Ramad, or “the Devil of Ramadi”.
In one battle alone he shot dead 40 enemy soldiers although his greatest achievement was his longest kill – from a staggering 1.2 miles away.
Chris Kyle told of his career in his memoir called “American Sniper” which went on sale last month and became an instant bestseller.
He also worked with veterans charity the FITCO Cares Foundation, which is where he appears to have come into contact with Eddie Ray Routh.
The shooting happened at the Rough Creek Lodge near Stephenville in Texas on Saturday evening.
Eddie Ray Routh is said to have “turned on” his two victims and shot them before tried to flee the scene in Chris Kyle’s pickup truck.
The former marine – who was reportedly highly trained in the use of firearms – was arrested around 9pm following a chase and is now in custody.
Eddie Ray Routh is now expected to be charged with capital murder over the double shooting.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said that he had “no clue” as to the motive but US reports focused on Eddie Ray Routh’s PTSD.
In interviews Chris Kyle himself has told of how hard it is to leave the military and said it left you with “no identity”.
Chris Kyle left the service in 2009 in order to save his marriage to wife Taya and spend more time with their two children.