Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh is the alleged murderer behind the shooting death of Chris Kyle, legendary Navy SEAL sniper and author of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.
Routh reportedly shot Kyle, 39, and his friend, Chad Littlefield, 35, last Saturday afternoon at the Rough Creek Lodge in Central Texas.
Here’s what you should know about Chris Kyle’s alleged killer:
1. Routh Fled in a Stolen Pickup Truck & Was Stopped with Road Spikes
Routh, 25, allegedly shot and murdered Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday while they were hanging out at a Glen Rose, Texas, gun range at the Rough Creek Lodge. Once the shootings concluded, Routh fled the scene in a pickup truck belonging to one of his victims. Radar Online reported that he first contacted his sister about the shootings he just carried out. He then returned to his Lancaster, Texas, home, where a local SWAT team pursued and found him located at. Officers stopped Routh with road spikes after he made another attempt to get away in the stolen truck. Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant told the Star-Telegram that Routh was apprehended more than 70 miles from the crime scene. Routh was taken into custody about five hours after he allegedly shot his victims. The local sheriff’s department captured Routh during a chase at 9 p.m. after getting a emergency call at 6 p.m.
2. He’s Been Tasered in Prison
Routh’s jail time has not been going smoothly, as evidenced by the information obtained by News.com.AU. Routh was reportedly tasered for getting too physical with jail wardens. This occurred when he refused to return his dinner tray to the jail guards, who were forced to restrain him after trying to get it off him. Routh has been placed in a restraint chair in solitary confinement, where he is now on suicide watch. Radar Online reported that Routh was arraigned on early Sunday on two counts of capital murder. The weapon used in the killings was a semi-automatic handgun, which authorities discovered in Routh’s home. He was previously being held on $3 million bond.
3. He Was in a Mental Hospital Months Before
Routh had been transported to a mental hospital — twice — in recent months. He was first taken to a mental hospital in September 2012 after he threatened to kill his family and himself. His second stint in a mental hospital came in mid-January after a woman called the police, fearing for his safety.
Routh was reportedly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Chris Kyle (pictured above) and Chad Littlefield tried to help Routh deal with his mental anguish by taking him to the gun range. Kyle was known to spend time helping troubled vets. Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares, spoke to the Associated Press about how Chris and Chad were trying to help Routh:
What I know is Chris and a gentleman — great guy, I knew him well, Chad Littlefield — took a veteran out shooting who was struggling with PTSD to try to assist him, try to help him, try to, you know, give him a helping hand and he turned the gun on both of them, killing them. … It was just two great guys with Chad and Chris trying to help out a veteran in need and making time out of their day to help him. And to give him a hand. And unfortunately this thing happened.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant suggested that Routh was indeed mentally broken:
He may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself. He was a Marine for four years. There may have been complications from that but we don’t know for sure.
4. He Recently Had a DWI Charge
The Cleburne Times-Review reported that Routh was arrested for a DWI charge in January 2012. He was held on $1,500 bond at the time of his arrest.
5. No Motive Has Been Revealed
Although some seem to point to Rough’s broken mental state as the reasoning behind his crimes, no clear indicator of the his motives has been revealed. Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant simply stated this when the press asked about Routh’s motives:
Not a clue; absolutely no idea.
6. His Neighbors Knew Him for Wearing Camouflage
Dallas News reported what Routh’s neighbors knew about him. They recognized him for wearing camouflage and taking his black-lab mixed-breed dog for walks.
7. He Served in the Military for Four Years
U.S. Pentagon officials released details about Routh’s military service. He served as a corporal in the Marines from 2006 to 2010. He served in combat in Iraq after being deployed in 2007. He also served in Haiti in 2010.
8. His Girlfriend Alerted the Cops Before the Shootings
Exclusive :Eddie Ray Routh’s GF called Dallas Police 2 weeks ago.He was given Criminal Trespass warning then taken by dpd to Green Oaks.
— Lynn Kawano (@LynnKawano) February 4, 2013
Lynn Kawano of Dallas News tweeted that Routh’s girlfriend alerted the cops about his trespassing on her property. This took place two weeks before the shootings. According to the tweet, Routh was taken to the Green Oaks mental hospital by the Department for Persons with Disabilities.
9. He Was Unemployed
After Routh’s Marines stay in Haiti in 2010 ended, he remained unemployed up till the time of the killings. The military listed him as a reserve.
10. He Lived With His Parents, But Recently Moved Out to Live on His Own
Dallas News reported that Routh lived with his parents in Lancaster, Texas. His parents left the home and tried to sell it, leaving Routh alone in the home afterward. A red Volkswagen beetle with a U.S. Marine Corps bumper sticker was last seen parked in Routh’s driveway Sunday afternoon. A real estate sign was also seen stuck in Routh’s front yard.