Routh’s family thanks ‘American sniper’ Kyle for trying to help troubled vet

Eddie Ray Routh and his mother, Jodi. (Photo courtesy of the Routh family)

Eddie Ray Routh and his mother, Jodi.

(Photo courtesy of the Routh family)

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

The parents of Eddie Ray Routh, the veteran accused of killing former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, extended condolences to Kyle’s family and thanked him for trying to help their son.

Their statement, released through one of Routh’s court-appointed attorneys, J. Warren St. John of Fort Worth, was the first time the Routh family has spoken publicly since the shooting early this month at Rough Creek Lodge’s shooting range.

The family also released a photograph of Routh, in his military dress uniform, with his mother, Jodi Leigh Routh, an educator in Midlothian. Routh’s mother had sought out Kyle, who routinely worked with veterans suffering from physical and psychological wounds as a result of their military service, to help her 25-year-old son.

Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, both of whom lived in Midlothian, were killed at the shooting range, where they had taken Routh on an outing. Routh is accused of turning his semi-automatic handgun on them and stealing Kyle’s truck.

As a Navy SEAL sniper, Kyle has been credited with killing at least 160 Iraqi insurgents. He co-authored a memoir, American Sniper, that described his missions and the impact they had on him and his family.

Routh’s mother told her son’s attorneys, St. John and Shay Isham of Stephenville, that only days before the shooting Routh had been discharged from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Dallas even though she told the doctors there he was not ready to come home and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

In January Routh also was transferred from a Dallas psychiatric clinic to the VA hospital and released. His attorneys said he told his mother than the VA “was not helping him.”

VA officials would not comment on the case, citing patient privacy laws.

Routh remains in the Erath County Jail after being charged with capital murder. Psychological evaluations have been ordered to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

If he is, Routh most likely will be indicted next month when the Erath County Grand Jury meets, his attorneys have said.

Below is the full, unedited statement from Jodi and Raymond Routh:

“Raymond and I want to express our deepest condolences to the Kyle and Littlefield families. We are incredibly heartbroken for your loss.

“We wish we could thank Chris Kyle for his genuine interest in helping our son overcome his battle with Post Traumatic Stress ┬áDisorder.

“We want others with PTSD to know their struggle is recognized and we hope this tragedy will somehow help in getting greater care for and assistance to those in need.

“No words can truly express the sorrow we feel for the Kyles and Littlefields, their extended family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all.”

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