Haunting last text of American sniper Chris Kyle before he was shot dead
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Featured Image Credit: TSHA/Carlo Dani/Wikimedia Commons
On 2 February, 2013 former US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was shot and killed aged 38 by ex-marine Eddie Ray Routh.
Kyle, along with friend Chad Littlefield, were shot a combined total of 13 times with guns Kyle had given Routh to use at a shooting range the trio were traveling up to.
Diagnosed with PTSD after serving in Iraq and helping in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, Routh had been in and out of a veteran's hospital until his mother had approached Kyle and asked if he could help her son cope with his trauma.
Kyle, himself a PTSD sufferer, had been sponsoring outings where veterans could go hunting or shooting together, and Routh's mother knew him as his children went to the school where she worked.
Promising to get in contact with Routh, Kyle and Littlefield ended up taking him for a shooting session up at Rough Creek Lodge, which is where tragedy struck.
Driving up to the shooting range with Kyle at the wheel, Littlefield riding shotgun in the front of the truck and Routh in the back, the two men he would kill appeared to be nervous about their passenger.
The details behind Kyle's final text were revealed at the trial, as it became apparent that his last message was sent on the journey up to the shooting range to the man sitting right next to him.
Kyle texted: "This dude is straight up nuts," to Littlefield while driving, which got a response of: "He's right behind me, watch my six," which is military slang asking for someone to watch their back.
When police hunted down Routh and arrested him, officers said Routh was complaining that the two men 'wouldn't talk to me'.
A forensic psychologist who interviewed Routh in prison concluded that he thought Kyle and Littlefield were planning on killing him due to the number of guns they were bringing with them.
Despite their apparent nerves at Routh's behavior, Kyle and Littlefield continued onto the shooting range where they would both be killed.
Routh testified at his trial that he killed Littlefield first, firing seven shots which hit the 35-year-old in the back, shoulder, head and hands.
He then opened fire on Kyle, who was struck six times in the head, chest, shoulder and right arm.
At his trial Routh pleaded not guilty by way of insanity, but a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to life imprisonment with no opportunity for parole.