Artist Creates Clay Statue of Chris Kyle - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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

Artist Creates Clay Statue of Chris Kyle

Florida man creates lasting tribute to Navy SEAL.



    NBC DFW Exclusive: Artist Creates Clay Statue of Chris Kyle

    An artist has found a monumental way to honor the Navy sniper shot and killed in Erath County. (Published Monday, Feb. 25, 2013)

    It's been three weeks since America lost Chris Kyle.  Now an artist has found a monumental way to honor the Navy sniper shot and killed while helping a fellow veteran deal with PTSD at a gun range in Erath County. 

    Greg Marra is the man in Florida who's had his hands in clay almost non-stop since Kyle died. 

    “I looked at this statue and I was like ‘my God,” said Michael Smith, a veteran in Haslet who has the honor and responsibility to help get the statue to North Texas. 

    “If you look at the arms where Chris is holding his weapon, down to the veins in the arms, the facial features.  It’s just ominous how well Greg has done.”

    Smith heard about the statue on a radio program.  He got in touch with the artist’s manager and said he wanted to help.

    “It’s a gift from a grateful country from what Chris not only did in combat but for what he did for my brothers and sisters who came back from combat with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” said Smith.

    Smith said the plan is to get the Chris Kyle statue here by March 8th.  Who will take this clay likeness the rest of the way turning it into a bronze statue is still being worked out. 

    The only decision Kyle's widow Taya will have to make is where she'd like it.

    “I don’t know where they’re going to put it," said Smith. "I hope Taya decides to put it someplace it deserves to be where people will go and honor the man.”

    In Midlothian Sunday night a banner honoring Chris Kyle greets you at the entrance of Ellis County BBQ.  When we told owner Dennis Deweerd about the statue, he was thrilled.

    “I think it’s awesome,” said Deweerd.  “I think it’s a great tribute to an American hero.  It’s a small town here but it would mean a lot to a lot of people.”

    Click on this sentence for more on the statue and fundraising efforts.

    You can also contact the project coordinator in DFW, Michael Smith at