Famed "American Sniper" author and a friend were killed at a North Texas gun range

Chris Kyle Funeral Procession Arrives in Austin

200-mile procession goes from Midlothian to Austin

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was buried today in Austin as family members and fellow SEALS looked on amid the sounds of drums and bagpipes.

    The funeral procession for slain former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle ended its 200-mile journey at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Tuesday afternoon.

    About 200 motorcycles, motor coaches, police cruisers and other vehicles made the trip Tuesday from Midlothian, where the "American Sniper" author lived with his family.

    Along the way, two Patriot Guard Riders crashed along the rain-slicked highway near Salado and were hospitalized after Navy SEALs provided first aid. The conditions of the riders were not immediately known.

    After the delay, the procession continued south to Austin, where the white hearse carried Kyle's flag-draped coffin into the cemetery.

    Kyle was considered the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. His book "American Sniper" recounted his efforts in the war on terror and in Iraq.

    Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were shot multiple times at a remote shooting range Feb. 2. Marine reservist Eddie Ray Routh has been charged in their deaths.

    North Texans Say Goodbye as Procession Heads to Austin

    North Texans lined roadways and overpasses to pay their respects to Kyle as the procession carried him to Austin.

    Chris Kyle Funeral Procession Heads to Austin

    [DFW] Chris Kyle Funeral Procession Heads to Austin
    Tuesday morning, dozens of vehicles led a funeral procession for ex-Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle from Midlothian to Austin. Along the way, thousands were expected to stand on the roadside and honor Kyle as he passed by.

    The procession began at about 9 a.m. at the Midlothian school district's multipurpose stadium at 1800 South 14th St. From there, the procession took U.S. 287 to Interstate 35E south to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

    "It's all about paying honor, respect, and dignity to Chris Kyle and his family," Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lonny Haschel said.

    Police asked onlookers to use access roads or overpasses to watch the procession instead of stopping along the highway.

    Carley Rodermund stood on the on-ramp to U.S. 287 with her family to support Kyle's wife and two children.

    Emotions Run High Along Procession Route

    [DFW] Emotions Run High Along Procession Route
    It was an emotional day for North Texans who lined the route from Midlothian to Austin to salute slain former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle Tuesday.

    She brought her 6-year-old son as a tangible lesson in patriotism and respect that can't be taught in school.

    "He said, 'Mommy, why are you crying?' And I said, 'Because a mommy lost her husband, and two little kids lost their dad,'" she said.

    Rodermund held the American flag and her hand over her heart. She broke down as the hearse passed, when Kyle's wife rolled down the window and saluted the crowd.

    "I just wanted to come out and support that amazing family," Rodermund said. "Seeing her salute as she came by today, it was really heart-wrenching."

    "I think it's wonderful that they're honoring this man. ... I think it's beautiful," said Midlothian resident Gina Lowman.

    "It's a small town, so everybody knows and everybody cares for everyone, even if they don't know each other they don't hesitate to help," said Midlothian resident Ana Juarez.

    "We have to stand up and honor him like he honored us," David Hill said.

    Military personnel, first responders and the Patriot Guard Riders escorted the procession. Dan Mathys was one of the more than 200 people invited by Kyle's family to take part in the memorial.

    "Chris Kyle's mission is the biggest mission we've ever done," Mathys said. "We've done big missions in the past. We hear riders are coming in from all over the country. Florida, Montana, let alone the military and the public being invited to this memorial service is something we've never seen before."

    Kyle, a North Texas native, served four combat tour in Iraq and elsewhere between the start of the war and 2008. He was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation, according to Craft International, the company he founded after leaving the military.

    NBC 5's Ben Russell, Kendra Lyn and Lindsay Wilcox and the Associated Press contributed to this report.