Instead of being a simple trip to the gun range in the afternoon of February 2013, it turned into a murder when Kyle Littlefield, a former United States Navy SEAL sniper, and a friend of Chad, suddenly died alongside his mentor Chris, who was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In his autobiography, Kyle had embellished and fabricated certain assertions when it was revealed that he encountered backlash. A remarkable accomplishment he recounted in his 2012 publication American Marksman, Kyle, an esteemed soldier regarded as the most lethal marksman in United States history, had become a figure of both fame and dispute until that astonishing incident.
Kyle agreed that after all, he had helped other veterans. He begged his son to help him, and Kyle approached Eddie Ray Routh’s mother, hoping to do the same to the 25-year-old killer. Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine who struggled with mental health after leaving the service, had spent his final years leading up to his death helping other veterans readjust to civilian life. Kyle had spent his final years on the other hand, but helping other veterans.
As they approached, Littlefield and Kyle texted each other, realizing that he was mentally unstable. “This guy is completely crazy,” Littlefield texted.
However, his instinct alone would not be sufficient to rescue him.
The Journey of Chris Kyle to Become the “American Sniper”
“Have a career in the armed forces.” Or “pursue a career as a cowboy…[Or] serve in the armed forces.” He desired to, as he stated to the Dallas Morning News in 2012, Christopher Scott Kyle aspired to enlist in the military since he was young, in Odessa, Texas, on April 8, 1974, he was born.
According to a blog post from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Kyle ultimately decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy SEALs after he suffered an injury while riding a bull at a rodeo. So, Kyle tried to live his life as a cowboy before becoming a sniper with the U.S. Navy.
Deployed to Vietnam during the war, Waldron Adelbert reportedly shattered the record by killing 109 enemy soldiers as a sniper. He quickly proved his skill and mettle as a marksman. In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq where he reportedly made 160 kills, following in the footsteps of Kyle.
Kyle informed the Dallas Morning News to carry out the necessary tasks, even if they are unwilling to do so. “Since I lack a great deal of patience, it’s not about patience. It is imperative for a sniper to possess patience,” as stated by everyone.
Kyle, a sniper who had four combat deployments in Iraq, returned home after a grueling time in the war. According to Hollywood Reporter, he struggled with emotional and physical issues, including self-medicating with alcohol and dealing with PTSD. However, these challenges took a toll on him, as evidenced by his three Bronze Stars and two Silver Stars.
The Life Story of the Deadliest American Marksman, American Sniper: In 2011, he initiated the FITCO Cares Foundation, and the following year he released his memoir, but Chris Kyle quickly discovered a fresh purpose: supporting his fellow servicemen in transitioning to civilian existence.
Kyle expressed to the Dallas Morning News, ‘I aimed to increase consciousness regarding veterans. I desired to disseminate their narrative and I recognized that this would provide me with a platform to discuss the individuals I am acquainted with who lost their lives. I aspired to inform people about the hardships endured not only by those in the military but also by their families.’
Despite making false claims in his autobiography about his medals of honor and a fictional altercation between himself and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, Kyle’s book brought him fame.
Jodi Routh, a woman from Texas, contacted Kyle to seek assistance for her son, Eddie Ray Routh, which also motivated him. Regrettably, their meeting led to the demise of Chris Kyle.
The Demise of the Authentic “American Sniper”
Following his military service, Eddie, her twenty-five-year-old son, faced difficulties in adapting to life as a civilian. On January 25, 2013, Jodi Routh approached Chris Kyle at the primary school his children attended and where she was employed. While Kyle attentively listened, Jodi shared the details with him.
In 2007, Eddie Ray Routh was sent abroad as a weapons specialist and joined the U.S. Marines when he was 18 in 2006, similar to Kyle, he had experienced military duty in Iraq. As reported by The New Yorker, Routh faced difficulties in maintaining employment, consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, suffered from panic episodes, and made threats of self-harm. Additionally, he displayed peculiar hallucinations, such as believing he was Dracula or that a tapeworm was devouring his internal organs.
In 2011, healthcare experts identified him with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nonetheless, despite the recommended medication, Routh continued to confront difficulties with his psychological welfare.
In the countryside of Texas, Kyle collected Routh and transported him to a shooting facility at Rough Creek Lodge. Accompanied by his companion Chad Littlefield in the front passenger seat, Kyle followed through. According to The New Yorker, he assured her, “I will make every effort to assist your son.” After conversing with Jodi, Chris Kyle committed to meeting Eddie a week later.
“Allow an individual who was experiencing emotional pain an opportunity to engage in conversation during the car ride, allocate a brief period for engaging in shooting activities, and subsequently provide additional time for conversation during the journey back home, in order to identify potential outlets and resources,” elucidated Taya, the wife of Kyle, to The New Yorker. This was Kyle’s objective.
Eddie Routh appeared tense while driving with Ray and Kyle. Later, a police officer informed me that Eddie Routh seemed unwilling to talk about “Littlefield and Kyle.” However, he explained that he felt in danger and during the interview, he didn’t open up about his emotions. He also expressed that he felt like he was going to be the next target.
Littlefield responded, “He’s behind me, meaning he’s right behind me.” Littlefield texted Kyle, “This dude is driving while nuts, straight up.” Meanwhile, Littlefield and Kyle were also unsettled by their passenger in the backseat.
Routh assaulted. Subsequently, the gentlemen reached the shooting area at approximately 3 p.M. And hoisted a crimson Bravo banner to signal the utilization of the range. However, initially, the day appeared to proceed unaffected.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Littlefield and Kyle suddenly turned on him, as they had no chance to defend themselves. Kyle Chris was shot six times by Routh, using a Springfield .45 pistol and a Sig Sauer P226 MK25 9mm pistol. The Washington Post reports that Chris Kyle died rapidly from a fatal gunshot, which caused spinal cord injury as well as a shot to his jaw and aorta.
He is absolutely insane, completely crazy, and he killed all of them. We went up to the gun range. “I killed them.” He told them and then called the police, his sister fled again when Routh went up the gun range. “I would sell my soul for a truck,” he announced at his sister’s house. Routh got into the truck and fled. After that, he killed Kyle and Littlefield.
The police eventually apprehended Eddie Ray Routh that evening, several hours after Chad Littlefield and Chris Kyle were killed by him.
Routh informed authorities during his incoherent post-capture interrogation, “They were merely escorting me to the shooting range, thus I fired at them.” “I am confident that they have pardoned me, although they refused to engage in conversation with me. I am remorseful regarding this matter.”
The Trial of Eddie Ray Routh for the Killing of Chris Kyle
Despite arguments from the defense that Routh suffered from other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis, the judge convicted him of first-degree murder in the deaths of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield after two years in prison.
“In Texas, specifically in Stephenville, there are many kind and righteous individuals. On Facebook, people expressed their gratitude to God for the jury’s decision in Routh’s case, which was also acknowledged by Taya, his wife. Judy, Kyle’s mother, informed reporters that they were extremely delighted and thrilled to have received the verdict tonight.”
Despite receiving positive feedback, American Sniper, a film released in 2014 and directed by Clint Eastwood, experienced substantial growth due to Chris Kyle’s legacy. The movie, which is based on Kyle’s book and features Bradley Cooper in the lead role, omitted the narrative surrounding Kyle’s death.
The screenwriter Jason Hall informed the New York Daily News, “We additionally aimed to exercise caution in not romanticizing the individual responsible for the act,” he stated, “Ultimately, we believed that this film primarily focused on Chris’s existence rather than his demise.”
Hall explained, “The film depicting their father’s shooting became a lingering burden that would impact their lives indefinitely, and I did not desire for it to be that way.” Hall further mentioned that Taya, Kyle’s widow, had also requested him to exclude her husband’s murder in consideration of their children.
Chris Kyle, who became the deadliest sniper in American history, spent his final years helping veterans adjust to civilian life. Indeed, the death of Chris Kyle is just a small part of his larger story.