Salazar, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant and nine-year police officer, told a court Thursday that more than a dozen police in Lancaster were dispatched to Routh’s home: “the whole night shift, and whoever was left on days, plus the detectives who were in the station.”
The police found themselves in a 20- to 30-minute standoff with Routh, as he refused to get out of Kyle’s Ford F-350 truck.
“It was a big old truck,” Salazar said Thursday, testifying in Routh’s murder trial as prosecutors began painting a detailed picture of how they say he fled the scene after killing Kyle, famous for his depiction in the recent movie “American Sniper,” and his friend Chad Littlefield in February 2013. “We had already gotten a description of the vehicle that had been taken.”
Salazar said that he and another officer low-crawled to the truck to sneak up on Routh, and put “stop sticks” around the tires that would deflate them if he drove away. Then Routh did just that, and police began to pursue him with numerous vehicles.
“I jumped in my car, and the chase was on,” Salazar said.
Kyle’s truck, driven by Routh, was eventually disabled after another Lancaster officer rammed it with his police vehicle. The stop sticks didn’t work: They were placed too close to the tires, preventing them from catching the tires correctly, police said.
Routh was arrested with a loaded 9mm handgun that police say he used to kill Littlefield. Kyle was killed with another weapon, a powerful .45-caliber pistol. The bodies of the two men were found together at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in nearby Glen Rose, Tex.