Christopher Scott Kyle (April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013) was a United States Navy SEAL veteran and sniper. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and meritorious service in combat. He was awarded one Silver Star Medal, four Bronze Star Medals with “V” devices, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and numerous other unit and personal awards
He was the deadliest sniper in American history. He had at least 160 confirmed kills by the Pentagon’s count, but by his own count—and the accounts of his Navy SEAL teammates—the number was closer to twice that.
On February 2, 2013, Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, 35, were shot and killed by Eddie Ray Routh at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas. Both Kyle and Littlefield were armed with .45-caliber 1911-style pistols when they were killed, but neither gun had been unholstered or fired, and the safety catches were still on.
Routh was a 25-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran from Lancaster, Texas. Kyle and Littlefield had reportedly taken Routh to the gun range in an effort to help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Routh had been in and out of mental hospitals for at least two years and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. On the way to the shooting range, Kyle texted Littlefield, “This dude is straight up nuts.” Littlefield responded, “Watch my six”, military slang meaning “watch my back”
A memorial service was held for Kyle at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 11, 2013. He was buried on February 12, 2013, at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, after the funeral cortege journeyed from Midlothian to Austin, more than 200 miles. Thousands of people lined Interstate 35 to view the procession and pay their final respects to Kyle.
Christopher Scott Kyle is survived by his wife Taya, and their two young children.
On February 24, 2015, Routh was found guilty of killing Kyle and Littlefield. The jury returned the verdict after less than three hours of deliberations. Since prosecutors decided beforehand not to seek the death penalty, the trial judge, Jason Cashon, immediately sentenced Routh to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
On February 2, 2015, exactly two years after Kyle’s murder, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the day “Chris Kyle Day” (Wikipedia)