Man up for murder of US sniper

2013-02-03 18:11

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Glen Rose - A 25-year-old man has been charged with murder in the deaths of former Navy Seal and American Sniper author Chris Kyle and another man on a central Texas gun range, an official said on Sunday.

Eddie Ray Routh, 25, of Lancaster, was arraigned on Saturday on two counts of capital murder, Sergeant Lonny Haschel said in a news release.

Police responded to the shooting at the Rough Creek Lodge at about 17:30 on Saturday and found the bodies of Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, said Haschel.

Police said they believe Routh shot the two men at about 15:30 and fled. Routh was found at about 20:00 at his residence in Lancaster, police said.

Sheriff Tommy Bryant said Kyle and a second man were found dead at Rough Creek Lodge's shooting range, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Stephenville Empire-Tribune. The range is southwest of Fort Worth.

Bryant did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment late on Saturday and early on Sunday. A woman who answered the phone at the lodge where the shooting occurred, declined comment and referred calls to the sheriff's office.

Investigators did not immediately release the name of the second victim, according to the newspapers.

Witnesses told sheriff's investigators that a gunman opened fire on the men around 15:30 on Saturday, then fled in a pickup truck belonging to one of the victims, according to the Star-Telegram. The newspapers said a 25-year-old man was later taken into custody in Lancaster, southeast of Dallas.

Lancaster police did not immediately return calls for comment.

The motive for the shooting was unclear.

Kyle wrote the best-selling book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History, detailing his 150-plus kills of insurgents from 1999 to 2009.

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura sued Kyle over a portion of the book that claims Kyle punched Ventura in a 2006 bar fight over unpatriotic remarks. Ventura says the punch never happened and that the claim by Kyle defamed him.

Kyle had asked that Ventura's claims of invasion of privacy and "unjust enrichment" be dismissed, saying there was no legal basis for them. But a federal judge said the lawsuit should proceed. Both sides were told to be ready for trial by 1 August.

- AP
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