In a twist of absurd irony, Chris Kyle, the most decorated U.S. military sniper in history, was murdered on Saturday in his home state of Texas by a fellow war veteran. The New York Times reports that Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were scheduled to meet suspect Eddie Ray Routh, a Marine combat vet, at a shooting range outside of Glen Rose, TX, on Saturday. When the two arrived, they were approached by Routh, who shot them dead with a handgun. Routh, 25, was apprehended by police near his home outside Dallas later that day. He is being held on two counts of capital murder.
After retiring from the U.S. Navy SEALs in 2009, Kyle had difficulties adjusting to civilian life and sought to help others with similar problems by creating the Fitco Cares Foundation, which provides counseling to veterans.
He recalled his life and military exploits in the Middle East in the 2011 volume American Sniper (Morrow), the audio version (Harper Audio) of which was named a LJ Best Audiobook of 2012. LJ’s audiobook reviewer said, “This well-crafted story makes one laugh and cry and is essential for understanding those who have given themselves to the American military in the long struggle against terrorism.” His follow-up title, American Gun: A History of the U.S in 10 Firearms, was scheduled to debut this May from Morrow.
Kyle, 38, was married and had two children. Littlefield was 35 years old.
Update: Sharyn Rosenblum, senior director of Media Relations, William Morrow/Harper Collins, February 6 told LJ that it is proceeding with the publication of Kyle’s American Gun. “William Doyle, the co-writer will be completing the book,” Rosenblum said. “We hope to keep our May 14th publication date, however it may be slightly delayed if more time is needed.” LJ will continue to update this story as information becomes available.