Courtesy of Tactical Life

The events of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, took the life of Kris Paronto — a.k.a. “Tanto” — from the most austere and non-permissive environments to the center of a worldwide political controversy and ultimately onto the silver screen. On that fateful night, known to most Americans as simply the Benghazi attack, an Ansar al-Sharia-backed Libyan ambush took the lives of American ambassador Chris Stevens, information officer Chris Smith and two CIA operatives — Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

A total of five firefights occurred that night. The first was at the U.S. State Department’s temporary mission facility (TMF). Kris Paronto and several members of the Global Response Staff (GRS), despite orders to the contrary, moved to the TMF and evacuated the State Department staff to the CIA mission station known simply as “the Annex.”

Meanwhile, hearing the calls for support from Benghazi, former Navy SEAL Doherty and two Joint Special Operations Command operators commandeered a plane from Tripoli and arrived at the Annex. They were again attacked with small arms, rockets and mortars. During the attack, Woods and Doherty were killed by mortars that struck the rooftop they were defending. Stevens and Smith died of smoke inhalation at the TMF after the attackers set the building on fire but before the GRS team arrived.


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Photo courtesy of Alex Landeen