We all know that earlier this year chaos erupted when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building causing a massive riot in response to the current administration. As a result, there were a few fatalities that occurred, including Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, and Trump supporter who tried to make her way into the lobby of the House of Representatives chamber.
The officer who fired the single shot that ultimately led to Ashli’s passing, sat down with Lester Holt for NBC News, to speak about the chaotic day.
Lt. Michael Byrd shared that as rioters made their way through the Capitol Building, he and a few other officers of the U.S. Capitol Police barricaded the doors as they worked to protect members of Congress. He said, “There was no way to retreat. No other way to get out. If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress.”
He was able to hear about the chaos that erupted between the rioters and officers through his police radio. “It was literally broadcast over the air,” he recalled. “I said, ‘OK, this is getting serious.’” He said as. a group of rioters arrived he shouted for them to get back, and says one rioter tried to climb through the door, and that moment eventually led to him firing a single shot. Ashli was hit and later died from her injuries.
Reflecting on the incident, Lt. Byrd said, “I know that day I saved countless lives. 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.”
As we previously reported, after the shooting Lt. Byrd was placed on administrative leave and was under investigation. He has since been cleared of wrongdoing by the Capitol Police and Justice Department.
NBC notes that the Justice Department announced investigators had “examined video, physical evidence from the scene, autopsy results and statements from the officer-involved, as well as other officers and witnesses,” while sharing that he would not be charged.
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TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94