STEPHENVILLE, Tex. — It isn’t clear which of the six gunshots that struck Navy SEAL veteran Chris Kyle when he was killed came first, but at least two of them likely would have been fatal, according to the medical examiner who performed his autopsy.

Jeffrey Barnard performed autopsies on both Chris Kyle, who inspired the popular recent movie “American Sniper,” and his friend Chad Littlefield after they were killed Feb. 2, 2013 at a rifle range at the Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, an 11,000-acre vacation spot and convention center 90 miles southwest of Dallas. Barnard testified Thursday at the murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh, a Marine Corps veteran who is accused of killing both men, and then fleeing the resort in Kyle’s pickup truck.

AD
AD

Barnard said that gunshot wounds to Kyle’s back and jaw would each have been “rapidly fatal” injuries. The one to the back hit several organs and his aorta, the main artery pumping blood from the heart, while the one to the face caused a major spinal cord injury, Barnard said.

Other gunshot wounds hit Kyle in the lungs, colon, kidney and other organs, the doctor said. The doctor said he was shot six times.

Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash said Wednesday that all six rounds were fired from a powerful .45-caliber pistol.

Texas Ranger Michael Adcock told the court Thursday that both Kyle and Littlefield were found with .45-caliber 1911-style semi-automatic pistols on their bodies after the killing. Neither men had drawn their weapons from their waistband holsters.

AD

Kyle was found in the dirt near the deck from which rifles were fired at the rifle range. Littlefield was close by, on the deck. They had taken Routh shooting to talk to him as he struggled with mental illness.

AD

Littlefield, 35, was shot seven times, Barnard told the court. Four of them were “rapidly fatal,” including one to the top of the head that suggests Littlefield was on the ground at the time it was fired, Barnard said.

Authorities said a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol owned by Kyle was used to kill Littlefield. The distinctive handgun is popular with Navy SEALs and had a Navy anchor on it. It was later found, reloaded, with Routh when he was arrested, police said.

AD
AD