Chris Kyle was known for helping anyone, police officers, civilians and especially military veterans that were having trouble adjusting to life after combat.
It was this notoriety that lead Jodi Routh, a teachers aide at an elementary school close to Kyle’s home, to contact Chris about her son who was a former Marine. He was now an unemployed former Marine who reportedly served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was suffering from PTSD, who needed help. Chris and a mate Chad Littlefield decided to take her son Eddie Ray Routh to Rough Creek shooting range where they would do some shooting to see if it would help the veteran.
Chris picked up Eddie in his black truck. Eddie lived with his
parents and was a thin, scraggly 25-year-old. Eddie Routh had spent four
years in the Marines but since leaving he had twice been
hospitalized for mental illness. His family worried that he was
Sometime in the early afternoon on Saturday February 2nd 2013 Chris Kyle and his mate Chad Littlefield picked up Routh and headed west on Highway 67. They got to Rough Creek Lodge around 3:15 pm. They turned up a snaking, 3-mile road toward the lodge and let a Rough Creek employee know they were heading to the range, another mile and a half down a rocky, unpaved road.
Chris knew the area and shooting range well. In the previous 3 years, Chris had given many shooting lessons at the range and had spent hours working with anyone who showed an interest in shooting. This is where he would take his boys when they needed to get away. In the right light, the dry, blanched hills and cliffs looked a little like the places they’d been in Iraq. When a group went out there, away from the rest of the world, they could relax and enjoy the camaraderie so many of them missed.
It is reported that shortly after they arrived, Eddie Routh shot and killed both Chris and Chad (both pictures below).
During the trip to the firing range, Chris sent a text message to Chad saying Routh was "straight up nuts". Chris was shot four times in the back and once in the face. Is it possible that after being shot four times, Kyle still had the strength to turn to Routh and face him? Chad was shot five times in the back. Routh then fleed the scene in Chris Kyles truck. Chris and Chad were found by a hunting guide from the lodge.
Routh drove to a friend’s house in Alvarado and called his sister.
He drove to her house where, his sister told police, he was “out of
his mind.” He told her he’d murdered two people, that he’d shot them
“before they could kill him.” He said “people were sucking his soul”
and that he could “smell the pigs.” She told him he needed to turn
himself in. He told her that he “traded
his soul for a new truck.”
From there, Routh drove home to Lancaster, where the police were waiting for him. When they tried to talk him out of the truck, he sped off. With the massive grill guard, he ripped through the front of a squad car. They chased Routh through Lancaster and into Dallas. He was headed north on I-35 when the motor of Kyle’s truck finally burned out, near Wheatland Road. Routh was arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
In February 2015, Routh was convicted of the murders even though he pleased insanity. An officer that worked at the prison Routh was held in, heard him confess to the killings a few months later. He said that he shot them because they wouldnt talk to him on the 90 minute journey to the range. He was seated in the back and Kyle and Chad were in the front.
Below are pictures of the Rough Creek Shooting Range.
Chris Kyle Memorial
Everyone knew there would be an overwhelming response to Chris Kyles death and so planning a funeral to accommodate the thousands that would like to pay tribute would have been difficult. Where should such an event be held? Chris was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, so it seemed appropriate that the memorial be held there to accommodate the 7,000 odd people that would pay their respects. Even before the stadium doors were opened, there was a line of people extended to halfway around the stadium. People were waiting in the cold, but no-one complained.
Naturally not all of the 7000 in the crowd new Chris Kyle personally, but they were there to pay tribute to an American legend. There were people of all ages and walks of life. Celebrities, politicians, sports personalities, military personnel and of course family and friends. People travelled from all parts of the country to be there and no doubt some of his SEAL team mates came from overseas to say goodbye to their mate.
US Military veterans from wars going back as far as World War II were there in uniform as well as SEALs, police officers, sheriffs, Texas Rangers, Firemen, you name it. They were there.
American celebrities also attended including the politician Sara
Palin Troy Aikman and Jerry Jones.
His casket was draped with the American flag and placed on the giant star at the 50-yard line and in the middle of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium there was a stage with flowers, his helmet on a wooden cross with his punisher painted bullet proof vest, his m4 rifle, boots and his longest kill rifle.
There is also an American flag made out of what appears to be flowers.
Behind the stage was a large screen where pictures were displayed of Chris Kyles life from his early years to his military career and married life.
His beautiful wife Taya Kyle gave a strong and powerful speech and said “God knew it would take the toughest and softest-hearted man on earth to get a hardheaded, cynical, hard-loving woman like me to see what God needed me to see, and he chose you for the job,” she said, her cracking voice filling the stadium. “He chose well.”
She was very strong and controlled during the speech which was an
amazing feat. Imagine standing in front of thousands of people in a
stadium (not to mention the millions that saw it on tv/internet)
talking about the loss of someone so dear. But she had the
protection of Americas Elite as her side and this would put anyone
There were many songs played throughout the memorial including, “Whisper My Name,” “Amazing Grace.” “The Impossible.” and a song called “Valor.”
There were also many speeches including some from his friends, his brother and SEAL team mates. It was funny and great to hear his team mates making fun of him about his video game antics. One of them said that he was by far the best SEAL in history to play video games back to back for hours on end when his team mates were sleeping. This is the type of dry humour that team mates have. They are always taking the piss out of one another in life and in death. This is something that Chris could relate to. If you watch any interview he is on, he is always making a joke about himself or someone else. All in good humour.
His team mates talked about the Legend nickname they gave him and
how in fact it was also a very suitable title given to Chris. “One of his former commanders
said, “know this: legends never die. Chris Kyle is not gone. Chris
Kyle is everywhere. He is the fabric of the freedom that blessed the
people of this great nation. He is forever embodied in the strength
and tenacity of the SEAL teams, where his courageous path will be
followed and his memory is enshrined as SEALs continue to ruthlessly
hunt down and destroy America’s enemies.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Uniformed military personnel, including his SEAL tem mates, carried his casket out of the stadium with Taya and his children following. Bagpipes were playing and everyone in the audience stood to attention, most saluting this great hero.
Even more astounding was what followed the next day. His casket was driven to Austin Texas and the procession was one of the longest in American history - almost 200 miles long. People had flags and were saluting, there were hundreds of motorcycles following, it was if the world stood still for this event.
A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea
John F. Kennedy
In this case the Legend of Chris Scott Kyle will always live on. RIP mate.