Capitol Police Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt Speaks Out For The First Time

By Bill Galluccio

August 27, 2021

The Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 spoke out for the first time, revealing his identity in an exclusive interview with NBC'sLester Holt.

Lt. Michael Byrd said that he decided to publically speak out about what happened inside the U.S. Capitol despite the numerous threats made against him and his family.

"It's all disheartening because I know I was doing my job," he said about the threats. "I believe I showed the utmost courage on January 6, and it's time for me to do that now."

Byrd explained why he decided to open fire as a violent crowd of people tried to break down the doors near the House chamber where many lawmakers were hiding.

"I tried to wait as long as I could," he explained. "I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers."

He defended his actions, saying that he saved lives by keeping the crowd from entering the House chamber.

"I know that day I saved countless lives," Byrd said. "I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that's my job."

An investigation into the shooting cleared Byrd of any wrongdoing, and the U.S. Capitol Police Department said that he will face any discipline for his actions.

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