Authorities still have no motive in the killing of Navy sniper Chris Kyle, but most signs seem to point the post-traumatic stress disorder as a possible culprit. Iraq war veteran Eddie Routh was charged with two counts of murder after shooting Kyle and his friend, Chris Littlefield, on Saturday. He also faces one extra count of capital murder, though those formal charges could be added to or amended later. Kyle was reportedly mentoring Routh as part of his regular charity work helping veterans cope with life after returning from activity. The FITCO Cares Foundation was co-founded by Kyle after his retirement from the Navy, specifically to help those suffering from PTSD. A spokesperson for the foundation said, "Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion -- serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD."
Despite being another high-profile shooting at a time when Americans have become focused on preventing gun violence, the story has instead become about the sad plight of veterans who have come back from war with serious mental health issues. In fact, Kyle's death may do for veterans what Sandy Hook has done for gun violence, by shining a bright light on a problem that has become an American epidemic. It's been widely reported that more soliders died from suicide last year than were killed in combat. And that's only counting active duty soliders, and not the thousands of veterans who are discharged every year, often with little monitoring of their ongoing health.
Military sources said they will not be involved in the investigation or in bringing charges, as Routh was no longer on activity duty.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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