Tatang Koswara appearing on Trans7 yesterday. Photo: Youtube
While his story was never made into a Hollywood movie, there’s no denying that Tatang Koswara was the best Indonesian sniper there ever was, and one of the best in the world. Sadly, Tatang passed away last night after suffering a heart attack. He was 68-years-old.
Before he died, Tatang was invited to tell his story on a talk show at Trans7 TV yesterday. He made the trip from Bandung to Jakarta despite having a history of heart attacks.
After the live broadcast of the first two segments went by without a hitch, Tatang unfortunately succumbed to another heart attack.
“After the [commercial] break, during the third segment, as he was being asked questions I saw him rest his head [on the couch] and look up. And then he was touching his neck like he was gasping for air,” said Sahlan Rambe, news analysis officer at the Indonesian Military, who accompanied Tatang to the show, as quoted by Detik yesterday.
Sahlan tried to give Tatang a glass of water, but the legendary sniper couldn’t even take a sip of it. Tatang fainted and was then taken to the Medistra Hospital in South Jakarta.
There, doctors tried to revive Tatang’s heartbeat. Unfortunately, Tatang passed away at 8pm.
Tatang Koswara retired from the military in 1996. He was ranked the 14th best sniper in the world in the book Sniper Training, Techniques and Weapons (2000). He became well known after killing 41 FRETELIN (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor) insurgents in the East Timor war between 1977-1978.
But Tatang lived a modest life after his retirement. Along with his wife, Tati, he ran a small restaurant in Cibaduyut, Bandung, to make ends meet.