A billboard for the movie American Sniper in West Los Angeles was vandalized with graffiti. The word “MURDER!” was spray painted in red letters across the highway sign as the controversy surrounding the movie, about U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle as the most lethal sniper in American history, heated up on social media.

The billboard, located at Wilshire Boulevard and Bundy Drive, has since been repaired

Many hail Kyle as an American patriot while others claim his actions were less than heroic. Recent comments by filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen created a fierce debate online and the conversations continue to heat up.

From 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend” while the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a large bounty on his head.

Tragically, after surviving years of war, Kyle was shot and killed in 2013 at the Rough Creek shooting range in Texas by Marine veteran Eddie Ray Routh who was reportedly suffering from PTSD. Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield also died in the shooting.

While the debate over Kyle will most likely continue for some time – it’s obvious the film has had, and will continue to have, a profound effect on those who view it.

I can personally recommend the book which is a “movie tie-in edition,” although I haven’t, as of yet, seen the film. In the book Kyle recounts a situation in which he was required to fire on a woman holding a baby. She was fitted with a bomb vest and was trying to pull the rip cord to set it off as a platoon of U.S. troops entered the scene. His account of that event, and the entire work, is agonizing and definitely written by a man with a heart in his chest – not a cold-blooded murderer or villain.