On January 6th, 2021, an unarmed group of American citizens protested at the US Capitol. They were challenging the November 3rd election results calling for the US Congress to delay certifying the electoral college votes.
There are still unanswered questions including what was the FBI, ANTIFA, and BLM member’s involvement in the crowds entering the building.
The only person shot during the event was Ashli Babbitt, an unnamed Air Force veteran.
Her shooter’s identity was kept from the public until a civil lawsuit was filed against him, so out of the shadows, he comes.
Lt. Michael Byrd sat for an interview with NBC anchor Lester Holt. He said that he opened fire on January 6, after Ashli Babbitt failed to comply with his commands to stop breaching the glass doors leading into the lobby of the House of Representatives chamber.
According to Byrd, he and a few other officers originally barricaded the doors to protect the 60 to 80 House members and staffers still inside the building.
Byrd described a chaotic situation of shouts and injuries being reported over his police radio.
“At that point is when I realized they’re here. The chants got louder. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but it sounded like hundreds of people outside of that door,” he said.
Footage later depicted Byrd firing his weapon at Babbitt after she broke through a glass window. Byrd stated that he repeatedly yelled orders to step back that went ignored by the crowds. He further emphasized that the shot was a “last resort.”
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” Byrd said. “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.”
Babbitt later died from injuries sustained from the gunshot. Seven months after the riots, the U.S. Capitol Police concluded its internal investigation and declared that the shooting was “lawful and within Department policy.”
Byrd maintained that he made the right decision given the circumstances.
“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.”
Byrd says he has been receiving death threats as well as racist attacks since his identity was revealed.
“They talked about killing me, cutting off my head,” Byrd said. “It’s all disheartening, because I know I was doing my job.”
Ashli Babbitt’s husband Aaron joined Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on Thursday to discuss the aftermath of his wife’s death and respond to Byrd’s interview. He said he also faced death threats since his identity was revealed in January.
Via Fox News
To those who may disagree with his actions, Byrd said “I hope they understand I did my job. There was an imminent threat and danger to the members of Congress. I just want the truth to be told.”
In 2019, Byrd left his Glock 22 pistol inside a bathroom at the Capitol Visitor’s Center and was later found during a routine security sweep of the premises. The Capitol police said an investigation would occur and “the appropriate actions will be taken in accordance with the Department’s official policies and procedures.” Byrd was back on the job a few days after the incident and allegedly told colleagues he would “be treated differently” because of his rank.