According to a news story from The Empire Tribune website, former US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle appears to have been murdered. (Ed. note: scroll down below the jump for updates.)
The site is reporting that Kyle and another person were shot and killed this afternoon at Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose, TX. Details are few, but the Erath County Sheriff’s Department is searching for a large, four-door Ford pickup truck with a skull sticker in the rear window.
“We have identified a strong suspect,” Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said.
Chris Kyle is well known as a former US Navy SEAL who is said to be the most successful sniper in US military history. He had recently written a book called American Sniper. Kyle was the president of Craft International, a tactical training company. According to the Craft International training calendar, there were no courses scheduled for Saturday. However, future courses at the Rough Creek Lodge were listed.
The Craft International logo features a large skull. It is not currently known if the suspect truck may have a Craft sticker on it, or if it was stolen from Kyle or one of his people. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.
Calls to the Erath County Sheriff’s Department were not answered.
Rough Creek Lodge & Resort is a retreat southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It features hunting, shooting sports, fishing and other outdoor activities in addition to having many of the typical resort amenities such as spas and fine dining.
Kyle is originally from Texas, having been born in Odessa.
As we obtain more information, we will post it here.
Rest in peace. You’ve earned your place in Heaven.
Update: Reports are coming in that Kyle and a second man were killed some time before 1600 hours on Saturday. Reports are also coming in that a man was arrested by 2100 hours the same day in connection to this case. At this time, it is not clear what role the man may have had in Kyle’s death.
Update: The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Lancaster Police Department arrested Eddie Routh in connection to the investigation into Kyle’s death. Lancaster PD apparently chased Routh prior to the arrest. They list Routh’s age as 25. Keep in mind that all people are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Update: The Empire Tribune identified the man as Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster. According to the Cleburne Times-Review, a Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster was arrested on January 4, 2012 for “DWI with an open container.” They list Routh’s age as 24. Keep in mind that all people are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Update: The Blaze is reporting that Kyle may have been killed by a combat veteran who was suffering from PTSD. According to their reporting, Kyle was shot at contact distance with an unknown firearm, and that the subject then stole Kyle’s truck and fled. The Blaze does not identify the suspect.
Update: Right now it appears that the circumstances of Chris Kyle’s death may have been as follows:
- Kyle and a second person take a former combat vet to the range to help him with PTSD issues.
- The person Kyle was trying to help, for unknown reasons, shoots and kills Kyle and the other person.
- The suspect steals Kyle’s truck and flees.
- A person in Kyle’s truck is spotted several hours later by police.
- After a pursuit, the person driving Kyle’s truck is arrested.
If Kyle was murdered by a fellow combat vet, this is an even sadder event than could be imagined.
Update: Multiple media sources, including the Star-Telegram (in addition to the ones above), are reporting that Eddie Ray Routh was arrested in connection with Kyle’s death. According to the Star-Telegram, Routh was pursued by police officers who were able to terminate the pursuit after a tire deflation device was used.
Update: According to The Blaze, Eddie Ray Routh was charged with two counts of capital murder: one for Kyle and the second for Chad Littlefield, the second person who was killed at the range.
Update: According to Megan Gray of the Denton Record-Chronicle, the above-pictured police car was damaged when Routh tried to flee Lancaster Police. It is not clear if the suspect may have rammed the officer’s car, or if the car officer was merely involved in an accident as part of the pursuit.