On Thursday, Lt. Michael Byrd spoke publicly for the first time, identifying himself as the officer who fatal shot Ashli Babbitt during the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Byrd told NBC Nightly News during a sit down interview. “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.”
Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego, was shot by Byrd when she tried to climb through a door to get into the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House chamber. The door’s glass had been smashed out as she and others in the mob tried to get inside.
You can watch Byrd’s complete comments here:
Byrd has been cleared cleared of any wrongdoing but his name had been previously withheld by authorities over safety concerns.
Or you can just watch Tucker Carlson’s comments here.
He said he yelled repeatedly for the rioters to get back and that shooting was a “last resort,” he told NBC.
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” he told the news station. “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.”
Video showed Byrd firing the shot. Babbitt’s death has since become a rallying cry for the far right and Byrd began receiving racist attacks and death threats.
Here's the video of the Capitol police shooting Ashli Babbitt as she and others attempted to break into the Speaker's Lobby (a warning about viewing this)
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) January 8, 2021
Washington attorney Mark Schamel said his client’s actions were “unbelievable heroism.”
“He stopped them from coming through to the hallway and into the chamber,” Schamel said, RealClearWire reported. “He stopped a potential massacre.”
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