Author 'trying to help' his killer
An Iraq War veteran charged with murdering former US Navy Seal sniper-turned author Chris Kyle and a friend turned a gun on the pair while they were at a Texas shooting range, authorities said.
Eddie Routh was arraigned on Sunday over the deaths of Kyle, who wrote the best-selling book American Sniper, and Chad Littlefield, 35.
They were killed at a shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles south west of Fort Worth.
Travis Cox, the director of a non-profit organisation Kyle helped found, said Kyle, 38, and Mr Littlefield, Kyle's neighbour and "workout buddy", had taken Routh to the range to try to help him.
Kyle is survived by his wife, Taya, and their two children, Mr Cox said.
"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 (post traumatic stress syndrome) 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," Mr Cox said.
Captain Jason Upshaw of the Erath County Sheriff's Office said Routh had not made any comments that might indicate a motive. "I don't know that we'll ever know. He's the only one that knows that," Capt Upshaw said.
Sheriff Tommy Bryant said Routh was unemployed and "may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself". He said he did not know whether Routh was on any medication or had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Routh is being held on one charge of capital murder and two charges of murder.
Capt Upshaw said Routh used a semi-automatic handgun, which authorities later found at his home. Authorities believe it was the gun used in the shootings. The military later confirmed that Routh was a corporal in the US Marines, serving in active duty from 2006 to 2010. He was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2010. His current duty status is listed as reserve.