The Capitol officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt said he didn't know if she was armed and that it didn't matter either way

Aug 28th

Michael Byrd this week revealed himself as the Capitol police officer who shot and killed Jan. 6 Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt. Byrd has been cleared by both the Department of Justice and his own Capitol Police bureau in the shooting of the unarmed Babbitt.

In an interview with NBC's Lester Holt this week, Byrd acknowledged that Babbitt was not armed and frankly admitted that the question of her being armed or not was immaterial in his shooting of her that day:

Lester Holt: Her family points out that she was not armed.

Michael Byrd: That's correct.

Lester Holt: The fact that you weren't aware whether she was armed or not, did that alter the decision-making?

Michael Byrd: It did not.

Byrd was subsequently pressed by Holt that no other Capitol law enforcement discharged their weapons that day:

Holt: What should we make of the fact that there were other officers, in other potentially life-threatening situations who didn't use their service weapons that day?

Michael Byrd: I'm sure it was a terrifying situation. I can only control my reaction, my training, my level of expertise. That would be upon them to speak for themselves.

Byrd said during the interview that the aggressive push from the rioters on that day "required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers."

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