VT: We would gladly see ten thousand Ashley Babbitts chopped to pieces rather than lose one of the 13 real heroes we lost today.
(CNN)The veteran US Capitol Police officer who killed pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt went public Thursday, revealing his identity and defending his actions on January 6.
“I know that day I saved countless lives,” Lt. Michael Byrd said in an interview with “NBC Nightly News.” “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.”
Exclusive: The Capitol cop who shot Trump backer Ashli Babbitt told @LesterHoltNBC he's been in hiding after death threats — but knows he did the right thing. "I know I saved countless lives," said Lt. Michael Byrd. For more watch @NBCNightlyNews tonight. https://t.co/1F51H1fVOD— NBC Investigations (@NBCInvestigates) August 26, 2021
The officer fatally shot Babbitt in the shoulder while she climbed through a window that led into the Speaker’s Lobby, adjacent to the House chamber, while lawmakers were evacuating.
Lt. Michael Byrd, who shot Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot, says he has been in hiding for months after he received a flood of death threats and racist attacks.— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 26, 2021
“I believe I showed the utmost courage on Jan. 6 and it's time for me to do that now" pic.twitter.com/2kaAxy8yGc
“I tried to wait as long as I could,” Byrd said of the incident in the doorway. “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.”
The Justice Department said in April that Byrd wouldn’t be criminally charged in connection with Babbitt’s death, and the US Capitol Police said last week that he wouldn’t face any internal discipline. He could still face civil litigation from Babbitt’s family, which has threatened a lawsuit.