- Carlos Boozer will return to the lineup tonight for the Bulls after missing the previous three games with a right hamstring injury. Joakim Noah (right foot) and Kirk Hinrich (right elbow) both will miss their third straight games. Nate Robinson will start at the point for Hinrich with Taj Gibson in Noah’s spot in the middle.
- Gibson has taken full advantage of the additional playing time created by the absences of Noah and Boozer, averaging 16.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.67 blocks in the last three, including a 19-point, 19-rebound outing Saturday in Atlanta. Jimmy Butler also has surged of late, averaging 14.9 points and .505 shooting in the last 10 games.
- Though this is the first of three games in three nights for the Pacers, Coach Frank Vogel isn’t taking a long view. “We haven’t even talked about (the schedule),” he said. “This is a very important game for us so we’re approaching it like it’s the only game of the week.” The game originally was scheduled for Dec. 26 but was postponed by a blizzard in Indianapolis. As a result, the Pacers now have the only three-game, three-night set in the NBA this season. It’s less of an inconvenience for the Bulls, who have two nights off before their next game Thursday in Denver. The Pacers host the Hawks Tuesday and travel to Philadelphia Wednesday.
- The Bulls bring the best road record in the NBA (14-7) into Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including a 13-3 mark against Eastern Conference teams. What makes them so good on the road? “I don’t know,” Vogel said, “but I’m interested in the formula.” Indiana is 10-16 on the road.
- Just in case the Pacers might view the shorthanded Bulls as something less than a formidable opponent, Vogel showed extensive film from Chicago’s 93-76 thrashing of the Hawks as evidence of just how hard, and well, the Bulls played. “We know whoever’s in uniform,” he said, “they’re going to bring it for the Chicago Bulls.”
A former Marine has been charged with three counts of murder in the killing of former Navy SEALand “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, the most deadly sniper in U.S. history, and another man at an Erath County, Texas, gun range, police said.
“We have lost more than we can replace. Chris was a patriot, a great father, and a true supporter of this country and its ideals. This is a tragedy for all of us. I send my deepest prayers and thoughts to his wife and two children,” Scott McEwen, co-author of “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” said in a statement to ABC News.
Remembering Kyle for the number of Iraqi insurgents he killed misstates his legacy, McEwen said.
“His legacy is not one of being the most lethal sniper in United States history,” McEwen said. In my opinion, his legacy is one of saving lives in a very difficult situation where Americans where going to be killed if he was not able to do his job.”
Kyle and a neighbor of his were shot at a gun range in Glen Rose while helping a former Marine who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas reported.
The suspect, identified as Eddie Ray Routh, 25, was arrested in Lancaster, Texas, after a brief police chase, a Lancaster Police Department dispatcher told ABC News. Routh was driving Kyle’s truck at the time of his arrest, police said.
Routh was arraigned Saturday evening on one count of capital murder and two counts of murder. He was brought to the Erath County Jail this morning and was being held there today on a combined $3 million bond, Officer Kyle Roberts said.
Investigators told WFAA that Routh is a former Marine said to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Kyle helped found a nonprofit that provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans, but the director of the foundation said Kyle and Routh had not met through the organization.
“Chris was literally the type of guy if you were a veteran and needed help he’d help you,” Travis Cox, the director of FITCO Cares, told The Associated Press. “And from my understanding that’s what happened here. I don’t know how he came in contact with this gentleman, but I do know that it was not through the foundation.”
Authorities identified the other man who was killed with Kyle as 35-year-old Chad Littlefield, who Cox said was Kyle’s neighbor and friend.
PHOTOS: Notable Deaths in 2013
Kyle, 38, served four tours in Iraq and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.
From 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded more than 150 sniper kills, the most in U.S. military history.
After leaving combat duty, Kyle became chief instructor training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual. He left the Navy in 2009.
“American Sniper,” which was published last year by William Morrow, became a New York Times best seller.
“We are devastated by the news of Chris Kyle’s death,” William Morrow executive editor Peter Hubbard said in a statement. “It was an incomparable honor to help share Chris’s story of service and faith with the world. Chris was a hero as much on the home front as on the battlefield — a man who dedicated his life in recent years to supporting veterans and donated the proceeds of American Sniper to the families of his fallen friends. He deserves our deepest respect. Our prayers are with his family and the entire military community. He will never be forgotten.”
Kyle was also an advocate for his fellow service members suffering from PTSD, creating a foundation to help with their treatment.
In an interview on Guns.com, he discussed the difficulty troops face coming home from combat zones.
“All of a sudden you don’t have no identity,” he said “And you have to learn a whole new way to act.”
Brandon Webb, a fellow SEAL who knew Kyle from SEAL Team Three then later when Webb was an instructor at the SEAL sniper course, called him a “larger than life Texan” and said he “will go down in history as one of the world’s most accomplished military snipers, right next to Carlos Hathcock, and Lyudmila Pavlichenko.”
“Chris was very adamant about supporting veterans issues,” Webb said. “This was an subject close to his heart, and not many in our community realize how much of his time was spent on veterans’ causes. … Chris will be remembered as a great American Hero, and another friend lost but not forgotten.”
Cox said Kyle’s wife Taya and their children “lost a dedicated father and husband” and the country has lost a “lifelong patriot and an American hero.”
“Chris Kyle was a hero for his courageous efforts protecting our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL during four tours of combat. Moreover, he was a hero for his efforts stateside when he helped develop the FITCO Cares Foundation. What began as a plea for help from Chris looking for in-home fitness equipment for his brothers- and sisters-in-arms struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) became an organization that will carry that torch proudly in his honor,” Cox said in a statement.
The fatal shooting comes after week filled with gun-related incidents, as the national debate heats up on what to do about gun violence.
In the past week, a teen who participated in President Obama’s inaugural festivities was shot to death in Chicago, a bus driver was fatally shot and a 5-year-old was taken hostage in Alabama, and a Texas prosecutor was gunned down outside a courthouse.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ed Koch is being remembered as the quintessential New Yorker — an admired but tough, colorful former mayor who will be honored at his funeral by former President Bill Clinton.
At the service Monday morning at Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El, mourners will also hear about Koch’s other fierce loyalty: Israel. The Israeli consul general is set to speak, along with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
And New York Police Department helicopters are expected to fly over the synagogue in honor of Koch.
Koch was a friend of both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and was helpful during her successful campaign for the U.S. Senate fromNew York, according to Koch spokesman George Arzt. Koch also backed Hillary Clinton in her presidential run.
Bill Clinton will serve as a representative for President Barack Obama at the funeral.
Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure at age 88.
Friends from his weekly Greenwich Village luncheon gathering got together on Saturday, two weeks after his last meal with them.
The funeral will be held at one of the nation’s most prominent synagogues, a Reform Jewish congregation on Fifth Avenue. Bloomberg is a member, as are comedian Joan Rivers and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
“I don’t want to leave Manhattan, even when I’m gone,” he told The Associated Press in 2008 after purchasing a burial plot in Trinity Church Cemetery, at the time the only graveyard in Manhattanthat still had space. “This is my home. The thought of having to go to New Jersey was so distressing to me.”
Koch led his city for 12 years, with a brash, humor-tinged style that came to personify the New Yorkof the 1980s.
The Democratic mayor is credited with helping save New York from its economic crisis in the 1970s and leading it to financial rebirth. But during his three terms as mayor, he also faced racial tensions and corruption among political allies, as well as the AIDS epidemic, homelessness and urban crime.
In his weekly radio address, Bloomberg called Koch “our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader.”
The mayor said his predecessor’s “tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship … helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback.”
He added, “When someone needed a good kick in the rear, he gave it to them.”
Koch lost the Democratic nomination for mayor in 1989 to David Dinkins, who succeeded him.
Koch said he was defeated “because of longevity.” In his words, “people get tired of you.”
But as the votes were coming in, he said he told himself, “I’m free at last.”
Also Monday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney will announce the renaming of a Manhattan subway station in Koch’s honor.
The subway station at East 77th Street and Lexington Avenue will be called “Mayor Ed Koch subway station,” according to Maloney.
City officials have introduced legislation to officially rename the station.