The smoke and heat was unbearable. He could not find either man.
He used a ladder to climb to the roof of the villa and radioed for help.
He had been in the smoky room for so long he could hardly speak. It took some time for the officers on the other end of the line to understand what he was saying.
He did not have Smith, he said. And the ambassador is missing.
The battle at the Annex
Three other security officers had barricaded themselves in another building when the siege began.
Once the first wave of attackers seemed to retreat, the officers got out of their "defensive" positions and drove an armored car to the villa. They found their colleague on the roof, vomiting, about to pass out.
The three officers crawled through the smoke inside.
They found Smith. They dragged his body out. But they were too late.
A team, from a nearby U.S. facility called the Annex, arrived and helped search for Stevens. They could not find him.
Concerned that the large crowd of militants was about to overtake the entire compound, they decided to flee back to the Annex without Stevens.
Men in the crowd began shooting, the bullets almost piercing the armored vehicle and blowing out two of its tires.
They drove on. At least two vehicles followed them.
They made it to the Annex, preparing for another fight. It was about 11:30 at night.
Just before midnight, bullets began hitting the Annex. This started a gun battle that lasted for an hour.
Hours later, another wave of attacks hit the facility with mortars, killing security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Hours passed and no one knew where Stevens was.
About 2 a.m., the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli received a phone call.
It was from the cell phone of the security officer who had given his phone to Stevens.
The man on the line spoke Arabic, telling embassy officials that Stevens had been taken to a hospital in Benghazi.
Officials could not determine what hospital Stevens was taken to.
Some wondered if the phone call was a trick from militants who wanted to lure U.S. officers to their death.
A Libyan official was sent to Benghazi Medical Center. He said Stevens was there.
Hospital staff said six civilians brought Stevens to the emergency room about 1:15 a.m.
Even though the ambassador showed no signs of life, doctors worked to revive him for 45 minutes.
It was too late.