In a recent interview with Esquire Magazine the man who shot bin Laden discussed what happened that night, his thoughts as he actually shot him and his bitter feelings about leaving the Navy after serving for 16 years.
The unnamed former SEAL describes first hand firing three shots and killing bin Laden as he tried to hold one of his wives in front of him for protection. Just before shooting he details how bin Laden seemed to push the woman forward and he worried if they had suicide vests on and would blow them all up.
Below is the story of “The Shooter”. Very interesting and worth reading the whole thing.
the Shooter told his story about joining the Navy at nineteen, after a girl broke his heart. To escape, he almost by accident found himself in a
Navy recruiter’s office. “He asked me what I was going to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be a sniper.
“He said, ‘Hey, we have snipers.’
“I said, ‘Seriously, dude. You do not have snipers in the Navy.’ But he brought me into his office and it was a pretty sweet deal. I signed up on a whim.”———–
I would come to know about the Shooter’s hundreds of combat missions, his twelve long-term SEAL-team deployments, his thirty-plus kills of enemy combatants, often eyeball to eyeball. And we would talk for hours about the mission to get bin Laden and about how, over the celebrated corpse in front of them on a tarp in a hangar in Jalalabad, he had given the magazine from his rifle with all but three lethally spent bullets left in it to the female CIA analyst whose dogged intel work and intuition led the fighters into that night.———–
“Instead of counting, for some reason I said to myself the George Bush 9/11 quote: Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended,” he said, recalling the moments before he dropped into Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. “I could just hear his voice, and that was neat. I started saying it again and again to myself. Then I started to get pumped up. I’m like: ‘This is so on.’”
Once inside, he raced up a staircase and he saw bin Laden inside a darkened room.The terrorist pushed his youngest wife, Amal, in front of him, and the SEAL, wearing night-vision goggles, raised his gun and pumped three bullets into bin Laden’s forehead at close range.
“He looked confused. And way taller than I was expecting,” the SEAL recalled.
“And I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought: Is this the best thing I’ve ever done, or the worst thing I’ve ever done? This is real and that’s him. Holy s—,” the SEAL recalled. “Everybody wanted him dead, but nobody wanted to say, Hey, you’re going to kill this guy. It was just sort of understood that’s what we wanted to do. His forehead was gruesome. It was split open in the shape of a V. I could see his brains spilling out over his face. The American public doesn’t want to know what that looks like.”