In an exclusive interview with Lester Holt on NBC News, Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd describes why he’s choosing to identify himself. Byrd shares his account of the January 6 riot, as officers barricaded the door and he fired a single shot, killing Ashli Babbitt.
Byrd said he has no doubt that he made the right decision in light of 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.”
When asked by Lester Holt why he pulled the trigger, Byrd said it was a “last resort.”
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” he told Holt. “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.”
Holt pressed Byrd on what he thought “[Ashli Babbitt] was doing at that point?”
“She was posing a threat to the United States House of Representatives,” responded Capitol Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd.