(CNN) -- Pentagon security officer Marvin L. Carraway Jr. saw the man walking toward him. A split second later, he saw the man's gun.
"When I looked at the shooter, he looked at me and I recognized a certain look on his face," said Carraway. "Once I saw that, what went through my mind -- 'This is it, something's about to happen.'"
Authorities say John Patrick Bedell arrived at the Pentagon late Thursday with two 9 mm semi-automatic weapons, at least as many magazines, and a vendetta. The 36-year-old had driven from California to Washington wearing a suit and a calm look. He could have passed for any tourist or worker who went through the security checkpoint every day on the way into the Pentagon.
Officer Colin Richards, who mans the booth with Carraway, looked up to see Bedell point his gun at his colleague and fire.
"The shooter was so close," Richards recalled. "I was surprised he missed. I thought he hit Officer Carraway or hit me."
"There was a lot of chaos," said Carraway, a former Marine, who was grazed by Bedell's bullets and suffered minor injuries.
Officer Jeffrey Amos was manning an exit area a few strides away. Also a former serviceman, he recognized the popping sound of gunfire and ran toward it. Amos took a bullet in his shoulder, but he and Carraway kept their focus.
They fired. Bedell went down, hit with a fatal shot to his head.
While Richard and Carraway stood over Bedell, ensuring he was no longer a threat, Amos knew he had to make sure the shooter was working alone.
"I went back to the exit to make sure nobody was going to ambush us from the rear," Amos said.
On Monday morning, the three spoke with CNN's "American Morning." They answered questions directly, letting little emotion show in their voices.
Asked whether the experience will always be in his mind when he goes back to work, Amos said that it would linger, but he and his colleagues train for attacks. They expect them.
"It is going to be on my mind," said Amos. "But I'm always visioning [possible attacks] on my post."
"I guess that's what we're there for," he added. "They train us for the job and we're there to do the job."
Bedell had repeatedly tangled with police and had been institutionalized at least three times for mental problems, according to California authorities. Court records for a man whose name and birth date match Bedell's show that he suffered from bipolar disorder.
Bedell appears to have railed against the government repeatedly on the Internet.
Through podcasts and a Wikipedia page, a man identified online as JPatrickBedell cast the government as a criminal force destroying personal liberties.
"This seizure of the United States government by an international criminal conspiracy is a long-established reality," the man said in a podcast in November 2006, which also was published as text online.
Such an organization, the man said, "would use its powers to convert military, intelligence, and law enforcement bureacracies [sic] into instruments for political control and the domination and subjection of society, while discrediting, destroying, and murdering honest individuals within those services that work to root out corruption and faithfully serve their fellow citizens."