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Father of U.S. soldier killed in Jordan: "Who was it that murdered my son and why?"

U.S. soldiers' deaths in Jordan
Father of U.S. soldier killed in Jordan speaks out 02:50

The U.S. is at odds with ally Jordan over its official explanation for the deaths of three American service members. Staff Sgts. James Moriarty, Kevin McEnroe and Matthew Lewellen were killed in Jordan earlier this month in an apparent terrorist attack. The three soldiers were working for the CIA in Jordan training Syrian rebels, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin.

Jim Moriarty, father of Staff Sgt. James Moriarty CBS News
Staff Sgt. James Moriarty was killed in Jordan in an apparent terrorist attack

Jim Moriarty says his son, James, was supposed to be home this week following his third tour of duty in Jordan.

“There’s nothing that’s happened to me in 70 years that prepared me to listen to talking about my son being dead,” Moriarty said.

As James’ body arrived back home, U.S. officials said a video of the incident in which he and two other American soldiers were killed appeared to show a deliberate terrorist attack -- not, as was first believed, a tragic accident.
“I haven’t gotten a straight answer yet,” Moriarty said.

U.S. officials say the security camera video shows several American vehicles stopped in broad daylight at the entrance to the Jordanian air field where the Green Berets were based. The first was allowed to pass through the gate, but then a guard suddenly opened fire on the second vehicle, killing both Americans inside.

The Americans in the third and fourth vehicles jumped out and started returning fire. The Jordanian guard shot and killed one of them, before he was wounded by the other.

Moriarty said his son was in that last shoot out.

“The killer clearly knew that he had these four Americans caught by surprise,” Moriarty said.

Jordanian officials originally blamed the Americans for failing to stop at the gate, but the U.S. embassy in Jordan said in a statement there is “absolutely no credible evidence” they did not follow proper procedures.

“The Jordanian government lied to our government… They know what happened, they know who this guy is. … They owe us an explanation. Who was it that murdered my son and why?” Moriarty asked.

Moriarty said the surviving Special Forces member he spoke to described the shooter as wearing body armor and wielding an AK-47 against the four American soldiers armed only with pistols. The FBI is leading this investigation, but so far has not been able to question the shooter because he is in a medically-induced coma.

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