On the morning of May 4, 2017, Iraqi troops brought in an Islamic State fighter who had been wounded in the leg in battle, SEALs told investigators, and Chief Gallagher responded over the radio with words to the effect of “he’s mine.” The SEALs estimated that the captive was about 15 years old. A video clip shows the youth struggling to speak, but SEAL medics told investigators that his wounds had not appeared life-threatening.
A medic was treating the youth on the ground when Chief Gallagher walked up without a word and stabbed the wounded teenager several times in the neck and once in the chest with his hunting knife, killing him, two SEAL witnesses said.
Iraqi officers who were at the scene told Navy investigators that they did not see the captive die, but disputed the stabbing account, saying it seemed out of character for the chief.
Minutes after the death, Chief Gallagher and his commanding officer, Lieutenant Portier, gathered some nearby SEALs for a re-enlistment ceremony, snapping photos of the platoon standing over the body.