Unfortunately for Kyle, his final mission to help his fellow veterans led to his demise. As a mentor, Kyle often brought troubled veterans along with him to shoot targets to better connect. On February 2, 2013, Kyle invited Eddie Ray Routh, a 25-year-old Marine who had served in Iraq and Haiti, to a shooting range in Glen Rose, Texas. Routh had been in and out of mental hospitals for at least two years and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mother had reached out to Kyle, hoping that the ex-Navy SEAL could help improve her son's condition. On that fateful day, Chad Littlefield, a friend of Kyle's, who had also been helping him work with troubled veterans came along for the ride.
At the range, Routh, who reportedly suffered from PTSD, shot Kyle six times in the side and back with a .45 caliber pistol, killing the war hero. Routh also shot Littlefield seven times with a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun in the side, back and head, killing him as well. After the killings, Routh took Kyle's Ford F-350 and went to his sister's house and told him what he had done. His sister Laura then called the police, leading to his arrest.