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Officer Who Shot Ashli Babbitt Reveals Identity, Says He ‘Saved Countless Lives’

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Protesters clash with members of the U.S. Capitol Police as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot publicly revealed his identity for the first time in an interview with NBC News released on Thursday.

Lieutenant Michael Byrd has been in hiding for months, after his name was leaked online and he began receiving death threats. Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, died after Byrd shot her in the shoulder while she attempted to enter the House chamber, during a riot of supporters of former president Donald Trump who breached the Capitol on January 6 of this year.

Dozens of representatives and House staffers were in the House chamber when rioters entered the Capitol, and police including Byrd barricaded the entrance.

“Once we barricaded the doors, we were essentially trapped where we were,” Byrd told NBC’s Lester Holt. “If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress.”

A group of rioters arrived at the entrance to the House chambers and began smashing the glass on the doors. Babbitt attempted to climb through a door, at which point Byrd shot her. Byrd said he did not know at the time that Babbitt was unarmed.

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