By Chris Lawrence (CNN)-
Who shot Osama Bin Laden, and how did he die? we thought we knew. From accounts of the real raid...
"The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden."
To the Hollywood movie
But an Esquire magazine interview with a member of the seal team is raising new questions: about what happened on that third floor of bin laden's compound. Esquire simply calls him "the shooter." and says he fired the shots that killed bin laden.
"He was very unused to this idea of shooting up, so he wasn't prepared for somebody quite as tall, bin Laden was much taller that he expected, so he talks about having to aim his gun up."
The shooter says after his point man shot and missed from the 2nd level, both men climbed the stairs to bin laden's bedroom. As the point man peeled off in the hallway to subdue two of bin laden's screaming wives, the shooter entered the room.
'there was Bin Laden standing there. He had his hands on a woman's shoulders, pushing her ahead. Not exactly toward me, but by me ...maybe as a shield, I don't know. He's got a gun on a shelf right there, the short AK he's famous for.'
"He shot him in the forehead and another time in the forehead as he was going down and then a third time in the forehead when he was at the foot of his bed obviously probably already dead."
But that account conflicts with another seal on the raid, who spoke with 60 minutes last year.
"You're right behind the point man. Yep. I'm kinda trying to look around him. Hear him take a couple shots. Kind of see a head - somebody disappear back into the room."
In his book, Matt Bissonnette says when they entered the bedroom, Bin Laden was down on the floor already dead.
quote, "the point man's shots had entered the right side of his head."
CNN can't verify either story. But our sources say the shooter's account is more credible, and that Bin Laden was alive and standing when the SEALs entered the room.
So why come forward now?
Because President Obama got accolades for authorizing the mission. Bissonnette's book hit the bestseller list. And Zero Dark Thirty raked in millions and awards.
But the shooter himself? He's out of the Navy and struggling to file a disability claim.
"He gets no pension, zero pension."
The shooter got out of the military four years early. And every man or woman coming into the military knows that unless you get a serious injury on the job - a career is defined as a minimum of 20 years. You have to do 20 to get the pension.
Also, he volunteered for the SEAL training.
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