Police officer who shot and killed Trump supporter Ashley Babbitt during US Capitol attack He had said in January that he fired his rifle “to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”
Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Beard, who publicly revealed his identity in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt Thursday night, said he’s had to go into hiding since January 6, receiving death threats after his name was leaked on right-wing forums and websites. He said that there are racist attacks.
“They talked about killing me, beheading me,” said Baird, a 28-year-old veteran police officer. “It’s all frustrating, because I know I was doing my job.”
Babbitt, 35, was shot and killed by Bird when a mob attempted to break into the House of Representatives. Her death became a rallying cry for far-right activists.
On the day of the riots, the mob trying to stop the ratification of Joe Biden’s election victory pushed toward the doors to the speaker’s lobby, outside the House chamber, where lawmakers and staffers barricaded themselves, Byrd and others holed up. Entrance said.
“Once we closed the doors, we were trapped where we were,” Baird said. There was no way to back out. There is no other way out.”
He said that as the mob continued to advance, he fired his gun. Bird said it was “impossible” to see what was on the other side of the doors because it was surrounded by furniture. As Babbitt began climbing through a smashed plank in the doors, Bird said, “I couldn’t see her whole hands or what was in the backpack or what the intentions were.”
But he said the rioters had “shown violence up to that point”.
When asked why he pulled the trigger, Bird said it was a “last resort.”
“I tried to wait as long as possible,” he told Holt. “I hoped and prayed that no one would attempt to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”
He said, “I know on that day that I have saved countless lives. I know that members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in danger and in grave danger. And that is my business.”
NBC reported that it was the first time that Bird had fired a gun in all of his years on the force. Babbitt’s family has indicated that they will file a civil lawsuit against the Capitol Police for her death. Byrd was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Justice Department and the Capitol Police.