STORY: Local resident Ron Lapman who went to the beach to witness the downing of the balloon said, "We saw something take off from the jet, I knew it was a missile, and you could see the explosion."
According to another resident, Sylvia Combs, the balloon started falling from the sky slowly "almost like a moving cloud coming down."
Photographer Travis Huffstetler, who filmed the balloon being shot, told Reuters on the top it scattered "like confetti", while the bottom slumped like a sagging parachute. "There wasn't no big fireball or flames or nothing like that," he said. "Whatever they shot out of that plane you could see the trail of it leaving from the plane and getting ahead of it. And then all of a sudden you see the balloon just go."
Biden said he had issued an order on Wednesday (February 1) to take down the balloon, but the Pentagon had recommended waiting until it could be done over open water.