Craig R. Sawyer knows firsthand about the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden last week.
For 13 years, he was one of them.
Sawyer, who lives in the Tucson area, was a member of the same elite Navy SEALs unit credited with killing bin Laden.
The unit is like an "all-star team," featuring the best of the best Navy SEALs, he said.
Sawyer was a SEAL until 1999 before working as a federal air marshal for five years. He also served in the U.S. Marines.
"That unit draws the cream of the crop from other SEAL teams," he said. "They take applications from the highest performers of other teams."
Sawyer is a former sniper and current actor who co-hosts the History Channel's "Top Shot."
He is involved with numerous other film and documentary projects, he said, including a film that examines narcotics trafficking along the border.
Another project, a zombie movie called "Universal Dead," is scheduled for pre-production this fall, he said.
He also trains actors for military and assassin roles, he said.
Sawyer was in Los Angeles filming an episode of "Top Shot" when he got the news of bin Laden's death.
"I got a text from a friend that runs a tactical company, and he said, 'Hey, the president is about to come on,' " he said.
He felt a sense of relief but wondered why it hadn't happened sooner.
"I know my unit is capable of doing that and felt it could've been done a long time ago," he said.
At least one other former Navy SEAL now lives in Tucson. Nelson Miller, owner of Trident Grill near the University of Arizona, was part of the team that rescued Jessica Lynch in 2003.
Contact reporter Jamar Younger at email@example.com or 573-4115.