Cops: Navy sniper killed by friend at firing range

Posted: February 04, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS - An Iraq War veteran charged with murdering former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and a friend turned a gun on the pair while they were at a Texas shooting range, authorities said Sunday.

Eddie Ray Routh, of Lancaster, Texas, was arraigned early Sunday in the deaths of Kyle and Chad Littlefield, 35. They were killed at a shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Police said Littlefield was Kyle's neighbor and "workout buddy."

Capt. Jason Upshaw with the Erath County Sheriff's Office said Routh had not made any comments that might indicate a motive. "I don't know that we'll ever know. He's the only one that knows that," Upshaw said.

Sheriff Tommy Bryant said Routh was unemployed and "may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself."

Israel suspected in Syria bombing

MUNICH - Israel's defense minister strongly signaled Sunday that his country was behind an airstrike in Syria last week, saying at a high-profile security conference that Israeli threats to take action are not empty. "We mean it," Ehud Barak said.

Israel has not officially confirmed that its planes attacked a site near Damascus, targeting ground-to-air missiles apparently heading for Lebanon, but its intentions have been beyond dispute. During the 22 months of civil war in Syria, Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed concern that high-end weapons could fall into the hands of enemy Hezbollah militants.

U.S. officials say the target was a convoy of sophisticated Russian SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. Deployed in Lebanon, they could have limited Israel's ability to gather intelligence on its enemies.

Alabama bus shooter described as anti-U.S.

MIDLAND CITY, ALA. - As an Alabama standoff and hostage drama marked a sixth day Sunday, more details emerged about the suspect at the center, with neighbors and officials painting a picture of an isolated man estranged from his family.

Authorities say Jim Lee Dykes, 65 - a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War - gunned down a school-bus driver and abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property.

Dykes, described as a loner who railed against the government, lives up a dirt road outside this tiny hamlet north of Dothan in the southeast corner of the state.

The FBI said in a statement Sunday that authorities continue to have an open line of communication with Dykes and that they planned to deliver to the bunker additional comfort items such as food, toys and medicine. Officials also said Dykes was making the child as comfortable as possible.

French launch airstrike on rebel convoy

GOSSI, MALI - French troops launched airstrikes on Islamic militant training camps and arms depots around Kidal and Tessalit in Mali's far north, defense officials said Sunday, as the first supply convoy of food, fuel and parts headed across the country.

French planes pounded extremist training camps as well as arms and fuel depots from Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday, according to French army Col. Thierry Burkhard.

"It was an important aerial operation to the north of the town Kidal and in the Tessalit region where we targeted logistical depots and Islamist training camps . . . some 20 sites," Burkhard said. He said there were 30 planes used in the operation including Mirage and Rafale jets.

New Newark priest was accused of sex-abuse

NEWARK, N.J. - A Roman Catholic priest accused of groping a teenage boy 12 years ago has been named to a prestigious post in the Archdiocese of Newark, drawing furious criticism from advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse.

The Rev. Michael Fugee, who is barred from unsupervised contact with children under a binding agreement with law-enforcement officials, has been appointed codirector of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests, the archdiocese recently announced.

The new appointment, effective late last year, shows "breathtaking arrogance" and "an alarming disdain for common sense" by Archbishop John J. Myers, said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the watchdog group BishopAccountability.org.

-Daily News wire services

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