Ex-Navy Sniper Murdered at Gun Range

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 3 2013 9:52 AM

Ex-Navy Sniper and Author Chris Kyle Murdered at Texas Gun Range

1359903097224
Photograph from Chris Kyle's Facebook profile

Former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, known as the deadliest American sharpshooter, was one of two men shot and killed Saturday on a gun range in Texas Saturday. Kyle wrote about his experiences shooting insurgents in the best-selling book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.  Chad Littlefield was also killed. Eddie Routh, a 25-year-old former Marine who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, was arrested after a brief chase, reports the Dallas Morning News. The motive for the shootings is unclear but Routh is also “an expert marksman” and shot the two victims at point-blank range, according to law enforcement sources cited by WFAA, a local ABC affiliate.

Kyle, who served four combat tours in Iraq, claimed that while official Pentagon figures state he killed 160 people, the real total was 255, notes the BBC. Iraqi insurgents apparently nicknamed Kyle “the devil” and placed a bounty on his head. At the time of his death, Kyle was facing a lawsuit from former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who alleges the former SEAL made up a portion of his book in which he claims to have punched Ventura in 2006 for making unpatriotic remarks at a bar, reports the Associated Press.

Advertisement

Although admitting his first kills didn’t come easily, Kyle showed little public remorse. “The first time, you're not even sure you can do it,” he told Time in an interview last year. “But I'm not over there looking at these people as people. I'm not wondering if he has a family. I'm just trying to keep my guys safe. Every time I kill someone, he can't plant an IED. You don't think twice about it.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data

Culturebox

The Real Secret of Serial

What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 23 2014 3:55 PM Panda Sluggers Democrats are in trouble. Time to bash China.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 23 2014 2:36 PM Take a Rare Peek Inside the Massive Data Centers That Power Google
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 4:03 PM You’re Doing It Wrong: Puttanesca Sauce
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.