Lt. Michael Byrd said in an exclusive interview with NBC News 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.
About 60 to 80 House members and staffers were inside pushing furniture to block the doors.
Byrd said, “My name is Michael Byrd. Lieutenant for the United States Capitol Police.”
He continued, “I believe I showed the utmost courage on January 6. And it’s time for me to do that now.”
Anchor Lester Holt asked, “Were you afraid that day?”
Byrd said, “I was very afraid.”
He continued, “I had been yelling and screaming as loud as I was, ‘Please stop. Get back. Get back. Stop.’ We had our weapons drawn.”
He added, “I was again taking a tactical stance. You’re ultimately hoping your commands will be complied with, and unfortunately, they were not.”
Holt said, “And what did you think this individual was doing at that moment?”
Byrd said, “She was posing a threat to the House of Representatives.”
Holt said, “Capitol Police, in their press release after exonerating you, said your actions potentially saved members and staff from serious injury and possible death. What was it like to hear those words, to see those words?”
Byrd said, “Those words meant a lot because that’s exactly what I did on that day. That was my mission. That was what I prepared for. And it’s rewarding and refreshing to hear that.”
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