During an exclusive interview with NBC News this Thursday, the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt as she tried to make her way through a broken window into the Speakers Lobby inside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, said he does not regret his decision and that he saved lives.
“Once we barricaded the doors, we were essentially trapped where we were,” Lt. Michael Byrd told NBC News’ Lester Holt, speaking publicly for the first time since the riot. “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,” added Byrd, who was cleared this week of any wrongdoing for killing Babbitt.
The chaos going on outside and inside the Capitol building was being relayed through his police radio.
“It was literally broadcast over the air,” Byrd said. “I said, ‘OK, this is getting serious.’”
When a horde of rioters approached the doors Byrd was guarding, he readied himself. He said he yelled repeatedly for the mob to get back, but to no avail.
In a moment that was captured on video, Byrd fired one shot, striking Babbitt in the shoulder. She later died from her injuries.
Watch the interview below: