A 25-year-old man was charged with murder in connection with a shooting at a central Texas gun range that killed former Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle and his friend, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Sunday.
Sgt. Lonny Haschel said in a news release that 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster was arraigned Saturday evening on two counts of capital murder.
Haschel said Erath County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a shooting at the Rough Creek Lodge, west of Glen Rose, at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Police found the bodies of Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, at the shooting range. Glen Rose is about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Police said Routh opened fire on Kyle and Littlefield around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, then fled in a Ford pickup truck. At about 8 p.m., Routh arrived at his home in Lancaster, about 17 miles southeast of Dallas. Police arrested him after a brief pursuit and took him to the Lancaster Police Department.
Officer Kyle Roberts at the Erath County Jail said Routh arrived there Sunday morning and is being held on a combined $3 million bond — bond for one charge of capital murder was set at $1 million and bond for two charges of murder was $1 million each. Roberts did not have information on whether Routh had a lawyer.
The motive for the shooting was unclear.
Kyle, a decorated soldier, wrote the best-selling book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” detailing his 150-plus kills of insurgents from 1999 to 2009. According to promotional information from book publisher William Morrow, Kyle served was deployed to Iraq four times.
Kyle helped start the nonprofit FITCO Cares, which provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans. Travis Cox, the organization’s director and friend of Kyle’s, spoke with the AP on Sunday morning.