Rob O’Neill entered the compound from the balcony.
“Standing on two feet in front of me, with his hands on his wife, was the face that I’d seen thousands of times, UBL. My first thought was, we got him,” O’Neill said. UBL referred to bin Laden whose first name was sometimes spelled Usama.
“We got him. We just ended the war,” O'Neill said in the first half of a Fox News special that aired Tuesday and continues tonight.
O’Neill’s comments mark the first on-camera statements by the SEAL who claims to have killed bin Laden in the May 2, 2011 operation in Pakistan. Before the raid, O’Neill called his father and wrote letters to his children, preparing to die in the mission.
“It was sad,” he said. “You know, there were a few times the tears hit the pages.”
After the mission was a success, O’Neill shredded the letters.
Despite the fear of death, O’Neill was excited to be part of the historic mission.
“We wanted to go. We really wanted to do this,” he said.
In the special, O’Neill admitted that he’s still troubled by the shooting, that it’s something he has to live with.
"I'm still trying to figure out if it's the best thing I ever did, or the worst thing I ever did," he told Fox News.
O’Neill has been criticized for breaking the SEALs' code of silence surrounding their missions, but he said he decided to tell his story because he thought his name would leak anyway.