- Associated Press - Sunday, February 3, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS (AP) - Authorities say a 25-year-old military veteran used a semi-automatic handgun to kill former Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle and his friend at a Texas gun range.

Capt. Jason Upshaw with the Erath County Sheriff’s Office says the handgun was found at Routh’s home.

Routh is accused of killing 38-year-old Kyle and 35-year-old Chad Littlefield at the Rough Creek Lodge shooting range Saturday evening. Authorities say Routh had come to the range with Kyle and Littlefield.

Police say that after the shootings, Routh drove to his sister’s home in Midlothian and told his sister and brother-in-law what he had done. After he left, his relatives called the police.


Upshaw says Routh has not made any comments as to what his motive was.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

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 Eddie Ray Routh of Lancaster was arraigned Saturday evening on two counts of capital murder. Officer Kyle Roberts at the Erath County Jail said Routh arrived there Sunday morning and is being held on a combined $3 million bond. Roberts did not have information on whether Routh had a lawyer.

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 about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said he did not know where Kyle and Littlefield were hit because he had not yet received the medical examiner’s report.

Kyle and Littlefield had taken Routh to the range, said Travis Cox, the director of a nonprofit Kyle helped found. Littlefield was Kyle’s neighbor and “workout buddy,” Cox told The Associated Press on Sunday morning.

The U.S. military confirmed Sunday that Routh was a corporal in the Marines from June 2006 to January 2010. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2010. His current duty status is listed as reserve.

“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,” Cox said.

Police said Routh opened fire on Kyle and Littlefield around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and then fled in a Ford pickup truck, which Bryant said was Kyle’s 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.

The motive for the shooting was unclear. A knock on the door at Routh’s last known address went unanswered Sunday. A for-sale sign was in front of the cream-colored wood-framed home.

Kyle, a decorated veteran, 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. Kyle said in his book that Iraqi insurgents had put a bounty on his head. According to promotional information from book publisher William Morrow, Kyle deployed to Iraq four times.

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