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American Sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield Killed - Is This Yet Another Failure in Psychiatric Health Care?
Late yesterday afternoon the bodies of famed American Sniper Christopher Kyle and Chad Littlefield were found on a resort and conference center located in Erath County, Texas according to Captain Jason Upshaw with the Erath County Sheriff's Office in Stephenville. Both men were allegedly killed by a suspect, now in custody, Eddie Ray Routh.
Capt. Upshaw confirmed with me that military veterans Kyle and Littlefield were both shot with a semi-automatic pistol. The Sheriff's Office is not releasing information at this time as to the manufacturer of the handgun or any other details of the shooting pending further investigation.
Kyle, a former Navy Seal, was the author of American Sniper. He has been credited as the deadliest sniper in U.S. Military history and is the author of the book, "American Sniper".
The suspect, Routh, is allegedly suffering form Post Traumatic Stress Disorder according to several press reports. The military has confirmed Routh served in the Marine Corps and was discharged in 2010 but would not confirm, at this time, if Routh ever saw combat. If, in fact, Routh is suffering from PTSD, is this yet another indication that our health care system is failing those suffering from psychiatric disorders?
This is the third death in a month of high profile figures in the firearms industry. Early in January, John Noveske, a manufacturer of high end rifles, including sniper rifles, was killed in an automobile accident shortly after posting an article on Facebook about the relationship between psychotropic drugs and mass casualty shootings. Is this yet another such incident? A short time later, Keith Ratliff with the famed FPS Russia was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head. Interestingly, there has been no update on this murder investigation to date. Will the Kyle murder add fuel to the speculation by a few groups about a conspiracy to silence high profile individuals in the firearms industry?
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant will head up an investigation that is being assisted by the Texas Rangers, Lancaster Police, Somervell County Sheriff's Department, the Stephenville Police, the Erath County District Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms according to a statement released today.
Capt. Upshaw, sounding very tired after a long night and day dealing with this tragedy said their resources are stretched very thin at the moment and the joint investigation will provide a thorough investigation.
Sheriff Bryant expressed his condolences to the families of the two victims. "The citizens of this state and our country mourn the loss of two American hero's." His department confirmed that Routh was taken into custody by the Lancaster Police Department after a short pursuit. Routh is being held in the Erath County Jail on a $3 Million bond on two charges of Capitol Murder.
PRESS RELEASE FROM ERATH COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Stephenville- Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant expresses condolences on behalf of the entire department to the victims in this incident. The citizens of this state and our country mourn the loss of two American Hero’s.
A press conference was held at the Erath County Sheriff’s Department regarding the fatal shooting that occurred on February 2nd at the Rough Creek Lodge. Christopher Kyle, age 38 and Chad Littlefield, age 35 were found dead at approximately 5:00 PM on February 2nd at the gun range located on the lodge property.
The suspect in the shooting is Eddie Ray Routh, age 23 from Lancaster. Mr. Routh was taken into custody by the Lancaster Police Department after a brief vehicle pursuit around the City of Lancaster. He is being held at the Erath County Sheriff’s department charged with Capital Murder with a bond set at three million dollars.
The investigation is ongoing through collective efforts of the Erath County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Rangers and the Lancaster Police, with assistance from the Somervell County Sheriff’s Department, Stephenville Police, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Erath County District Attorney.
We have lost two true American heroes and we would like to extend our deepest sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to Mr. Kyle’s and Mr. Littlefield’s friends, families, and loved ones