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Here’s What American Sniper Chris Kyle Said About His Killing Two Men at a Gas Station in 2009

Photo from NBC’s “Stars Earn Stripes”

Chris Kyle was incredible. He was simply an incredible, real-life action hero. Before his death, he was already known as the deadliest sniper in American history and as a best-selling author. Since his death, a few reporters have heard trickles of other stories. Around Midlothian, one story in particular has been raising eyebrows. It goes something like this: when he was first back from Iraq, in 2009, Chris Kyle killed two armed men who were attempting to carjack him at a gas station.

I first heard this story more than a year ago. It hasn’t made the news much. There was a brief mention in Marcus Luttrell’s second book. And now the Star-Telegram has a blog item mentioning the story and how difficult it is to confirm. Well, as it turns out, I’ve been working on a story about Chris Kyle for about nine months. We talked regularly, mostly about the challenges and triumphs of his transition home. I first asked him about the story last summer, during an interview in his Dallas office. I said: “Now, I have to ask you about an incident that I’ve heard about. I heard it happened at a gas station.”

He said: “You mean the time I shot two guys trying to steal my truck?” 

I sat there stunned for a few seconds. The incredible story I’d heard, I figured there was no way it was true.

“It’s true,” he said.

He proceeded to tell me about that day. It was in January 2009, just weeks after he retired from the Navy. It was cold that morning, and he was wearing a heavy winter coat. He was driving his truck — his now famous black F350 with the large rims and impressive grill — when he needed to stop for gas. He pulled into a station right off highway 67.

As he got out of the truck, two men approached. Both had guns in their hands. One pointed his weapon at Kyle. They told him to hand over his keys. Kyle was out of the truck, on the passenger’s side.

“I told them I would get them the keys,” he told me. “I told them they were in the truck and to just let me reach in.”

He noticed the man pointing the gun didn’t seem very confident. Kyle knew what confidence with a gun looked like.

As Kyle turned, leaning into the open passenger door of the truck, he reached into his own waistband. With his right hand, he grabbed his Colt 1911. He fired two shots under his left armpit, hitting the first guy twice in the chest. Then he turned slightly and fired twice more, hitting the second man twice in the chest. Both men fell dead.

Kyle leaned on his truck and waited for the police.

He said he was later told that trucks like his are very popular among car thieves because they’re frequently taken over the Mexican border. He said they’d passed up the car in front of his, even though it was a relatively new Cadillac.

Kyle told me that the entire incident was caught on the gas station’s surveillance cameras. He said he gave the responding officers a phone number to call. Presumably someone high up in the government explained to the officers who Kyle was. He said the officers were very understanding, that they didn’t want to drag a just-home, highly decoratated veteran into a messy legal situation that would surely draw a harsh media spotlight.

Kyle told me that he knew the tape was out there somewhere, because he would randomly get emails from police officers all over the country, thanking him for “cleaning up the streets.”

Several of Kyle’s friends were familiar with the incident, and they had heard virtually the same story. After our talk, I called the police chiefs of several towns along 67. Most of them had heard of the incident. One, speaking only on background, said he knew some of his men had at least seen the tape. But request after request provided no police reports and no tape.

We’ve debated here at the office exactly how to handle this. Honestly, I wanted to tell the entire world about it on the afternoon it was confirmed. But I always wanted to tell that story in the context of a larger story about Chris Kyle, about his service, about the amazing things he’s done for other veterans, and about how hard he worked to adjust back to this world — to become the great husband and father and Christian he’d always wanted to be.

Now that the story is coming out in other places, though, it needed to be confirmed. So consider this story confirmed from the man himself. In every sense of the word, Chris Kyle was a true American badass.

204 comments on “Here’s What American Sniper Chris Kyle Said About His Killing Two Men at a Gas Station in 2009

  1. And you know he lied, how? Kris Kyle is dead. Ventura persued that case against his widow. It certainly doesn’t mean that Ventura didn’t say that “the SEALs deserve to lose a few in Iraq.” Knowing Ventura and his stance on the war it doesn’t surprise me at all nor do I doubt it. It also says a lot about his character that he persued the case against a dead man and his widow. Venura is now and always has been a true piece of shit. His conspiratorial nonsense along with is close friendship to that other moron Alex Jones doesn’t make him the most trustworthy or intelligent person. That jury should have been hung a long time ago but the judge forced them back into deliberation. The decision of a jury doesn’t make it a lie. Only Ventura and a dead man know the truth and knowing the type of person that Ventura is I tend to lean towards Kyle as telling the truth.

  2. Ever dealt with small town cops before? It isn’t hard for me to believe at all. There never would have been a grand jury to begin with. It does not work like that in self defense cases.

  3. You get it right Mr. Get It Right! Who calls someone a dumb a## and misspells dumb? And I don’t even want to know why you thought “haft” was a word. and it’s their, not “there” and… oh, forget it. Btw- you’re a nitwit if you think people do not go to jail for shooting people in war.

  4. You are completely and utterly full of shit. You were a secret Ranger? Really. You were such a secret part of the 75th Ranger Regiment, who’s entire command staff is listed on the internet, that nobody could know what you did? You are a fucking idiot for even writing that. There is nothing top secret about serving in the Regiment. If there was they wouldn’t be walking around with tan berets, scrolls, and Ranger tabs. The reality is this: you were probably either never in the Army, or you are some goofy little cock holster who lied to everyone about what he did because you are ashamed that you were a mechanic. And BTW, there is nothing wrong with being a mechanic if you served honorably. Why lie?

    There are ZERO secret people in the Regiment. There are ZERO people who kill folks and then just get back in the car and carry on with their day after the police arrive. Reports, which are public records available via FOIA, are completed, witnesses are interviewed, the bodies are autopsied, a grand jury is convened. All these things are public record. Any killing is legally deemed a homicide. A grand jury determines if it is justifiable or not, NOT the responding officers, police chief, General Sherman, the President, or anybody else’s. A jury of your peers. That anyone would believe this horseshit completely blows my mind. This is real life, and in real life shit like this dosen’t happen.

    I know this article is ancient, but this shit was driving me so crazy that I had to comment. It’s fucking ridiculous, and anyone who dosen’t have enough sense to look at this rationally is a fucking retard