It is unknown what specifically started the June 4 altercation at 5 AM but it escalated, resulting in Melgar first losing consciousness. Then he stopped breathing. The SEALs attempted to open an airway in Melgar's throat. It is unknown whether Melgar died immediately. The SEALs and another Green Beret drove to a nearby French clinic seeking help. Melgar was dead when he arrived at the clinic. Asphyxiation was the cause of death.