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‘Think’ Looks Back At America’s ‘Most Lethal Sniper,’ Gunned Down In Texas


Chris Kyle's story was already pretty startling: Rodeo rider turned Navy Seal, he became America's "most lethal sniper," killing more than 150 in Iraq. He came home, started a business, wrote a book. And Saturday, he and another person were shot and killed at a gun range near Glen Rose, Texas.

Lancaster police told The Dallas Morning News they arrested a former Marine who may have suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Last January, Kyle talked with KERA’s Krys Boyd about the book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, about his his military career and about what life was like for a sniper in Iraq.

“Growing up, the only time you ever shot anything was when you were hunting, and you were gonna eat it," he said on Think. "So it was hard trying to wrap my mind around ‘Well, how can I shoot another human being?’ And even the first time I had to do it, they’re yelling at me. ‘You have to do it! Take it! Take it!’ And it’s still trying to get over the fact that, well, I’m fixin’ to have to kill someone.

“And then you do it, and you have to think of it differently. You’re not killing a person, you’re killing an enemy that if you don’t do it, they’re gonna kill your guys. …You have to de-humanize it, so you don’t go crazy.”

You can listen to the full interview on Think here.

Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.