Suspect In ‘american Sniper’ Killings Claims Ptsd
- Chris Kyle was shot and killed with another man at a shooting range
- Eddie Ray Routh%2C 25%2C on suicide watch in Erath County Jail
- Suspect had been in mental hospital twice in five months
The former Marine and Iraq War veteran charged in the killings of a former Navy SEAL sniper and his friend on a Texas shooting range had been taken to a mental hospital twice in the past five months and told authorities he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, law enforcement records show.
Eddie Ray Routh, 25, also told his sister and brother-in-law after the shootings that he “traded his soul for a new truck,” according to an Erath County arrest warrant affidavit obtained by WFAA-TV. Police said Routh was driving the truck of one of the victims, former Navy SEAL and American Sniper co-author Chris Kyle, at the time of his arrest.
Erath County authorities have not given a motive for the fatal shootings Saturday of Kyle, 38, and Chad Littlefield, 35, at the Rough Creek Lodge west of Glen Rose.
Capt. Jason Upshaw if the Erath County sheriff’s office told the Stephenville Empire Tribune on Monday that Routh was being segregated from other inmates, that there was no sign of a struggle at the scene and that it appeared the victims were target practicing when they were shot. “This is still under investigation, and I can’t release any more details about the crime scene,” he said.
The Texas shootings have stirred memories of other recent shootings at gun ranges.
Exclusive: Chris Kyle’s Widow Says Ptsd No Excuse For Murder
When Taya Kyle arrived for our interview, she walked into the room with the same warm smile that had greeted me last year, when we first met.
At that time, I was interviewing Chris Kyle, her then famous husband and author of “America’s Deadliest Sniper,” about the book, his life, but also their relationship.
Our interview then was different than all the rest he’d done. I was intrigued by the fact that this decorated Navy SEAL, hero to many, was literally brought to a crossroads by a single conversation at his kitchen table. As the two would relate to me, Taya was sick of being a single mother. Chris had been home just a few weeks, out of a three year stretch of deployments. She told him, that it was either the service, or his wife and kids. To me, that story was far more powerful than that of the man who was the deadliest sniper in history. That story was about a decision that would test Chris like perhaps no other in his life. Because of who he was, and what he did. His career defined him as a man, and Taya had essentially asked him to walk away from what made him who he was, to be the husband she needed, wanted, and loved.
As we began to talk, I asked Taya what she missed the most about Chris. It would be the most emotional, and poignant moment of our interview.
I added, “No words for him?”
What Taya Kyle will say about Routh, who reportedly had been treated at the VA hospital in Dallas for PTSD, is that PTSD is not a justification, for murder.
One Of The Deadliest Snipers In America Was Reportedly Shot Dead By A Troubled Ex
REUTERS/Erath County Sheriffs Office
Chris Kyle was so deadly with a sniper rifle that Iraqi insurgents gave the U.S. Navy SEAL the nickname “the devil of Ramadi” and put a bounty on his head. No dice. Kyle retired in 2009 as one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history, notching at least 150 kills, then published a best-selling autobiography, American Sniper, in 2012. Kyle started a military training company, Craft International, and in 2011 launched a charity, FITCO Cares Foundation, to help provide exercise equipment and counseling for veterans, especially those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder . On Saturday, Kyle, 38, and a friend, fellow veteran Chad Littlefield, 35, were shot dead at a Dallas-area shooting range, allegedly by unemployed Marine reservist Eddie Ray Routh, who reportedly became afflicted with PTSD during tours in Iraq and Haiti.
According to law enforcement officials, Routh shot Kyle and Littlefield point-blank, drove off in Kyle’s truck, confessed to the murders to his sister, then returned home, where police found him and subsequently caught him after a brief car chase. “My heart is breaking,” Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares, said in a statement. “Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD. His service, life, and premature death will never be in vain.”
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Depiction Of Ptsd In The Film American Sniper
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American Sniper is Hollywoods portrayal of U.S. Navy Seal, Chris Kyles life in and out of war. Kyles mission is to protect his comrades at all costs, and infamously became one of the most lethal snipers in American history. Throughout the film, Kyle struggles to be a good husband and father to his family back home while serving four tours in Iraq. When Chris Kyle finally returns home, he quickly realized that the things seen and done on his many tours could not be forgotten. Chris Kyle undergoes many traumatic events during his four tours on duty, and later diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder after life back home with his wife and daughter was not enough to forget the horrors of the war. PTSD is defined as being the emotional distress that occurs after an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or a threat to physical integrity and that leads to avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and feelings of emotional numbness.
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Murders Of Chris Kyle And Chad Littlefield
|Murder of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield|
|Chalk MountainShow map of the United States|
|.45 caliber M1911 pistol, 9 mm SIG Sauer handgun|
|Perpetrator||Eddie Ray Routh|
The murders of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield occurred on February 2, 2013, at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas. Kyle, who was a former Navy SEAL, and his friend Littlefield were walking down range to set up targets when Eddie Ray Routh opened fire and hit both of them. Routh was a 25-year-old who had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. The case attracted national attention due to Kyle’s fame as author of a bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, published in 2012.
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What Happens If Ptsd Is Untreated
The mental health condition can cause significant psychological, physical, and social issues if not treated. Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are at risk of suffering emotionally, and the condition puts them at an increased risk for life threatening conditions.
Who Was Chris Kyle
Christopher Scott Kyle was a United States Navy SEAL sniper and the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history.
Kyle wrote a book in 2012 called American Sniper: The Autobiography, telling the story of his four tours in Iraq from 1999-2009.
It depicts Kyle’s upbringing in Odessa, Texas, as the eldest of two boys, who grew up caring for up to 150 cattle.
After graduating high school, he became a professional bronco rider and ranch hand, before severely injuring his arm forcing him to stop his career.
He went to a military recruiting office interested in the Marine Corps, and eventually achieved 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEA, Air, Land training in 1999 and graduated in 2001.
Kyle went on to serve in many major battles during the Iraq war, where he became renowned as one of the country’s deadliest snipers.
He earned the nickname, “Shaitan Ar-Ramadi”, meaning “the devil of Ramadi”, from insurgents after his stellar shooting record in Ramadi.
As his reputation grew, so did the bounty on his head – it shot up from $20,000, increasing to $80,000.
With his huge tally of both Pentagon confirmed and unconfirmed kills, he became a popular SEAL known by his infantry as “The Legend” – which could be something to do with him surviving two shootings and six separate IED detonations.
Kyle was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2009 and moved to Midlothian, Texas, with his wife Taya and two children.
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What Percentage Of Combat Veterans Have Ptsd
One study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found that 14.5% of them screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder, while other studies found the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%. More than half a million U.S. troops who served in these wars have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.
Chris Kyles False Claims
Over the years of Kyles ensuing celebrity including after his death the media learned that the sniper had exaggerated some of the claims he made in his book and in the news.
In his book, Kyle claimed to have earned two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars, but the Navy later acknowledged that he only received one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars.
A subchapter titled Punching Out Scruff Face in Kyles book also spurred actual legal action against him. In it, Kyle claimed to have been attending a wake on Oct. 12, 2006, at a bar called McPs in Coronado, California, for U.S. Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoon who had died in Iraq when things became violent.
Kyle claimed that this mysterious Scruff Face individual told him, You deserve to lose a few guys. Kyle wrote that he responded by punching the man as a result. On Jan. 4, 2012, he claimed on The Opie and Anthony Show that the man was none other than Jesse Ventura.
The former Minnesota governor filed a lawsuit within days and charged Kyle with defamation, appropriation, and unjust enrichment. He denied ever meeting Kyle and didnt drop the suit even when Kyle died. On July 29, 2014, a jury ruled that Kyles estate owed Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.34 million for unjust enrichment.
Many more false claims emerged, however. Kyle had also reportedly once told his peers that he traveled to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to shoot dozens of armed residents who were contributing to the chaos.
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Why Was Chris Kyle Die
HomicideChris Kyle / Cause of deathHomicide occurs when a person kills another person. A homicide requires only a volitional act or omission that causes the death of another, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm. Wikipedia
The Aftermath And Trial
Right after the shooting, Routh drove to the home of his sister, Laura Blevins, and told her he had just killed two men. After he showed her the guns he used to do so, she called 911.
When Routh drove home to get his dog that same day, he encountered police. He muttered about the apocalypse and walking hell on Earth, and said, Everybody just wants to barbecue my ass right now.
Routh confessed to the killings later that night and said the following about Chris Kyle, If I didnt take out his soul, he was going to take mine next.
Rouths trial at the Erath County District Court in Stephenville, Texas, began on Feb. 11, 2015. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but was ultimately found guilty by the jury of 10 women and two men on February 24. He was sentenced to life without parole.
As for Kyles family, they were heartened to see nearly 7,000 people attend his memorial service at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Feb. 11, 2013. Perhaps most solemn were the words of his children, which adorned the back page of the program leaflet handed out to attendees.
I will miss your heat, his daughter wrote. I will love you even if you died.
I miss you a lot, his son wrote. One of the best things that has happened to me is you.
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Aftermath Post Us Withdrawal
The invasion and occupation led to sectarian violence, which caused widespread displacement among Iraqi civilians. The Iraqi Red Crescent organization estimated the total internal displacement was around 2.3 million in 2008, with as many as 2 million Iraqis having left the country. Poverty led many Iraqi women to turn to prostitution to support themselves and their families, attracting sex tourists from the region. The invasion led to a constitution, which supported democracy as long as laws did not violate traditional Islamic principles, and the first parliamentary elections were held in 2005. In addition, the invasion preserved the autonomy of the Kurdish region, and stability brought new economic prosperity to Iraq. Because the Kurdish region is historically the most democratic area of Iraq, many Iraqi refugees from other territories fled here.
Sectarian violence continued in the first half of 2013. At least 56 people died in April when a Sunni protest in Hawija was interrupted by a government-supported helicopter raid and a series of violent incidents occurred in May. On 20 May 2013, at least 95 people died in a wave of car bomb attacks that was preceded by a car bombing on 15 May that led to 33 deaths also, on 18 May 76 people were killed in the Sunni areas of Baghdad. Some experts have stated that Iraq could return to the brutal sectarian conflict of 2006.
Sniper Killing Aftermath: 5 Things To Know About Ptsd
PTSD is marked by hyper-vigilance, a fear that a trauma will occur again
Rates of PTSD among the general population are low
Virtual reality is being used to treat PTSD sufferers
When police caught up with alleged killer Eddie Ray Routh last weekend, the 25-year-old ex-Marine was crying, shirtless, shoeless and smelling of alcohol.
Not long before, at a Texas shooting range, police say, Routh had gunned down Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who called himself Americas deadliest military sniper.
As he sits in a Texas jail cell, details about Rouths psychological make-up have surfaced, including claims that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that affects a number of current and former members of the U.S. military.
Of course, combat duty doesnt automatically lead to PTSD. And its not even clear that Routh served in a combat zone during his four years in the Marines.
Nonetheless, Kyles tragic death and Rouths story are shining light on those who suffer from PTSD and the circumstances that surround it.
Here are five things to know about PTSD:
What is it?
How common is it for someone to be diagnosed with PTSD?
Thirty percent of service members who have fought in Iraq or Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs study released last year.
We need to remember that while substantial numbers of vets have mental health conditions, Cozza said, the majority do not.
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The American Snipers Shocking Death
Tom Fox-Pool/Getty ImagesEddie Ray Routh in court on Feb. 11, 2015.
Despite his penchant for exaggeration, Kyle was an outspoken advocate for veterans rights.
In 2013, a teacher at Kyles childrens school called him to ask for his help. Her son, Eddie Routh, was living with PTSD and severe depression after serving in Iraq and Haiti after the 2010 hurricane.
Prescribed antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medication that treated schizophrenia, Routh also self-medicated with alcohol and marijuana. He also held his girlfriend and her roommate hostage at knifepoint shortly before the killings.
Nonetheless, Kyle and Littlefield who Kyle knew because their daughters played soccer together offered to mentor Routh for the day. They arrived at Rouths home in the early afternoon on Feb. 2, 2013, before getting into Kyles truck and heading to the shooting range in Erath County. Thats when the trouble began.
Routh later claimed that Kyle and Littlefield wouldnt talk to me during the drive, and their silence paired with the arsenal of weapons in the truck led Routh to believe that he was about to be killed.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Routh, Kyle texted Littlefield while driving: This dude is straight-up nuts. Littlefield replied: Watch my six.
Then, at some point during the shooting session, Routh picked up a 9 mm Sig Sauer P226 MK25 and fired at Littlefield. Then, he grabbed a .45-caliber Springfield.
Chris Kyle Is Undoubtedly One Of The Most Decorated And Deadliest Snipers In American History So Why Did He Exaggerate So Many Of His Heroic Stories
Wikimedia CommonsChris Kyle was killed with his own gun by a veteran he was attempting to mentor at just 38 years old.
Known as the deadliest sniper in American history, Chris Kyle was also a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL who was shot twice during his four tours in the Iraq War. When he returned home, he wrote a book about his experience titled American Sniper, which quickly turned him into a local folk hero.
But despite his celebrity status back home, Chris Kyle drank heavily to quell his insomnia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . He finally readjusted to civilian life by helping fellow soldiers to do the same.
Unfortunately, many of his exploits were discovered to be exaggerated, including the number of awards he received and an outlandish story regarding a fight with Minnesota governor and veteran Jesse Ventura.
All this drama came to an abrupt head on Feb. 2, 2013, when Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield drove 25-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran Eddie Ray Routh, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and PTSD, to a shooting range in Texas.
There, Routh suddenly grabbed a pistol from Kyles collection and fired seven rounds into Littlefield and additional six into Kyle before driving off.
The Legend was long dead by the time 911 showed up.
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