A 12-member Army special forces unit was accompanying 30 Nigerien forces when they were attacked in a densely wooded area by as many as 50 militants traveling by vehicle and carrying small arms and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Johnson was struck as many as 18 times from a distance by a volley of machine gun rounds, according to the U.S. officials, who said he was firing back as he and two Nigerien soldiers tried to escape.
The U.S – Niger Patrol had been looking for a senior Islamic State member who had ties to al-Qaeda. After going to a location where he was last seen, the patrol had stopped in a village to get some food and water.
According to CBSNEWS, “The U.S. military believes someone in the village may have tipped off attackers to the presence of U.S. commandoes and Nigerien forces in the area, setting in motion the ambush.”
The ambush took place on Oct. 4, about 120 miles from the Nigerian capital of Niamey.
It was then that Johnson and three other Americans were killed: Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.
In total, four U.S soldiers and four Nigerian troops were killed while two U.S. troops and eight Nigerian troops were wounded.
There had been some scrutiny in the timeline of the events; now, the investigative report by the military sheds some new light on the situation.
When the military went to locate the bodies from the attack, they found three of the Green Berets, but not Johnson.
Because of this, We are the Mighty says there were rumors of Johnson’s whereabouts after the ambush. Some said that he was killed at close range while others that he was captured alive.
Instead, the report concluded that “Johnson was struck as many as 18 times from a distance by a volley of machine gun rounds, according to the U.S. officials, who said he was firing back as he and two Nigerien soldiers tried to escape.”
“The officials said Johnson was found under thick scrub brush where he tried to take cover. There were no indications he was shot at close range or had been bound or taken prisoner, as several media reports have suggested.”
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