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Gun club talks safety after ex-SEAL killed at shooting range

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 03 2013 11:43:51 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 04 2013 12:04:44 AM CST

After the death of military legend Chris Kyle at a Texas shooting range, a gun club in Colorado Springs is talking about safety and security.

A military legend and best selling author was shot and killed Saturday at a Texas shooting range. Former Navy SEAL and sniper, Chris Kyle, was murdered along with his friend, Chad Littlefield.

Police said the victims were trying to help a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and decided to take him shooting. Police said that man, Eddie Ray Routh, suddenly snapped and turned his gun on the two men. Routh has been arrested and charged with murder.

"It's always tragic when you have, essentially a war hero, someone with his record and distinction he brought to his service and himself, have a tragic death," said Tony Brunetto, a former officer in the Army and Air Force. "Especially when it's at the hands of another veteran."

Brunetto is the training coordinator at Whistling Pines Gun Club in Colorado Springs. He said staff there does everything possible to ensure safety. Whistling Pines is an indoor shooting range, unlike the outdoor facility where Kyle and Littlefield were killed. Dallas station WFAA reports that it took two hours for the victims' bodies to be found.

"The only thing we can imagine is this is not necessarily a well supervised situation and the shooter just snapped," said Bruntetto of the Texas range.

Brunetto said, at Whistling Pines, staff keeps an eye on every shooter.

"We can see everything that goes on, " he said. "We cycle our range officers through, and we have a pretty good feel for all of our membership. We train (staff) to look for signs that something could be going wrong. Mishandling of a firearm or just something out of the ordinary that would catch our attention."

He said no one has been shot or seriously hurt in the seven years the club has been open.

"I would think we're probably less dangerous than driving from here to Denver," said Brunetto. "In terms of the number of people injured and the actual threat."

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