ARLINGTON — Thousands of people are expected to attend a public memorial service Monday afternoon for former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle who was shot to death at a Texas shooting range.
Mourners will gather at Cowboys Stadium to pay tribute to the 38-year-old who completed four tours of duty in Iraq and wrote the best-selling book “American Sniper.”
Another Iraq War veteran, 25-year-old Eddie Ray Routh, has been charged in the killings of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a gun range Feb. 2. Routh is being held in Erath County on $3 million bond.
Kyle will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a 200-mile funeral procession starting in the Dallas area Tuesday morning.
The director of the nonprofit that Kyle set up to give in-home fitness equipment to physically and emotionally wounded veterans has said that Kyle and Littlefield apparently had been helping Routh work through post-traumatic stress disorder.
Kyle, Littlefield and Routh were all together Feb. 2 when they arrived at the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, authorities say. Routh later fled the range in Kyle's truck and went to his sister's home.
According to a search warrant, Routh told his sister and brother-in-law that the men “were out shooting target practice and he couldn't trust them so he killed them before they could kill him.” Routh's sister called the police, describing her brother as “psychotic.” Routh was arrested after a short police chase.
Routh's brother-in-law told authorities that Routh had recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. One of Routh's attorneys, J. Warren St. John, said his client had been released from the Dallas Veterans Affairs hospital against his family's wishes just two days before the shootings.
Littlefield's funeral was held Friday in Midlothian, where he and Kyle were neighbors. After the funeral, Littlefield's relatives said the men's outing with Routh was intended to be therapeutic.
Littlefield's father-in-law, Tom Montgomery, said Kyle regularly took veterans to the shooting range, and that Littlefield often assisted in efforts to help veterans.