Lieutenant Michael Byrd, the Capitol cop who shot rioter Ashli Babbitt dead on January 6, was ‘nervous, teary-eyed, and appeared very upset’ after gunning down the Air Force veteran, a secret report has revealed.
More than 500 pages of internal DC Metropolitan Police documents on the fatal shooting reveal witnesses said Babbitt was not carrying a weapon at the time and describe how Lt Byrd was shaken by the event.
Babbitt was a fervent Trump supporter who was killed when she was at the front of a mob trying to climb through a shattered glass door to the Speaker’s Lobby during the riots.
One Capitol Police sergeant whose name is redacted in the report, obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA lawsuit, said Byrd was ‘visibly upset’ afterwards, adding: ‘His eyes were red. He was, you could see he was visibly upset and he just, you know, kind of comfort him and told him, you know, we gotta get outta here,’ the transcript of the interview states.
Another police interviewee who was positioned directly behind Byrd in the Speaker’s Lobby, said: ‘Lieutenant Byrd was shaking, he did not say anything…. Byrd was nervous, teary-eyed, and appeared very upset. His voice [was] also shaky when he called for medical assistance over the radio. Lieutenant Byrd was still very upset.’
Lieutenant Michael Byrd (pictured during the January 6 riots) was ‘nervous, teary-eyed, and appeared very upset’ after shooting dead Ashli Babbitt, a report has revealed
Babbitt was a fervent Trump supporter who was killed when she was at the front of a mob trying to climb through a shattered glass door to the Speaker’s Lobby
The internal DC Metropolitan Police documents were obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA lawsuit
Witnesses said Babbitt was not carrying a weapon at the time and describe how Lt Byrd was shaken by the event
The documents reveal conflicting accounts over whether Byrd verbally warned Babbitt before opening fire.
A sergeant said they saw Babbitt climbing through a broken window but did not see her holding a weapon.
The report says: ‘Sergeant [redacted] observed a white, female protester was climbing through an opened area where the glass pane had been knocked out. He heard a gunshot and this female fell backwards through the opening.
‘The crowd on the other side of the barricaded east doors, began to step back and some put their hands in the air. Sergeant [redacted] observed Lieutenant Byrd step back just after hearing the gunshot. He did not see anything in the female protester’s hands prior to the gunshot.
‘Sergeant [redacted] never went on the other side of the barricaded east door. He also did not know that it was Lieutenant Byrd who shot his gun until he talked to him moments after it occurred. Lieutenant Byrd looked upset and stated, “I was the one who took the shot”.’
Byrd then directed him and other officers to go ‘into the subway’ after the shooting.
The sergeant said it was his ‘craziest day’ in the office, adding: ‘I’m not afraid to say I was, I was scared s**t.’
Babbitt is seen on the ground wounded after being shot by Capitol Police during the Capitol riots
Another officer who was interviewed on February 4 said he did not hear any verbal commands before the shooting.
But a separate phone interview with a witness who got in touch with Metro PD said he was in the House of Chambers at the time and did hear ‘loud verbal commands’ that Byrd would ‘shoot’.
The transcript says: ‘He was yelling, he was giving commands. Um, he was saying, I will shoot. Uh, he was saying some other stuff. I couldn’t clearly make out what he was saying, but he was definitely, uh, giving commands, no question about it.’
‘He [Byrd], uh, did everything he could do…. He was by himself, we were defending the front door and they were shaking it.’
The discrepancy over the command orders and the claims Babbitt did not have a weapon in her hands have raised questions about the killing.
Protestors inside the room after Ashli Babbitt is shot by Capitol Police inside the US Capitol
A sergeant said they saw Babbitt climbing through a broken window but did not see her holding a weapon
Babbit died after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building following his rally on January 6, when he urged them to walk to Congress
Investigators did recover a ‘para force’ folding knife in her pocket after the killing.
The weapon was then turned over to the DC Department of Forensic Sciences
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told Fox News: ‘These previously secret records show there was no good reason to shoot and kill Ashli Babbitt.
‘The Biden-Garland Justice Department and the Pelosi Congress have much to answer for the over the mishandling and cover-up of this scandalous killing of an American citizen by the U.S. Capitol Police.’
The report comes after Donald Trump wished Babbitt a happy birthday on Monday and demanded Joe Biden‘s Justice Department reopen the investigation into her death.
Babbitt’s parents and husband as well as other supporters took part in a Texas Loves Ashli Babbitt rally on what would have been her 36th birthday in Freeport, Texas.
One officer who was interviewed on February 4 said he did not hear any verbal commands from Byrd before the shooting
The US Capitol Police announced in August that the officer who shot and killed Babbitt has been cleared of any wrongdoing
Trump called her a ‘truly incredible person’ who lost her life for ‘no reason’ in a roughly 2-minute video reportedly played at the event.
‘It is my great honor to address each of you gathered today to cherish the memory of Ashli Babbitt, a truly incredible person,’ Trump began.
‘On that horrible day of January 6, Ashli arrived at the United States Capitol innocent. She was shot and tragically killed. Today would have been her birthday – happy birthday, Ashli. We’re looking at you and you’re looking down at your family and at us.’
He praised her for her years of service in the US Air Force and publicly pressed the DOJ to reopen its resolved probe into her shooting death.
Ashli Babbitt was married to Aaron, who served as a Marine from 2000 to 2005
‘There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family. So on this solemn occasion, as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair and non-partisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt,’ Trump said.
The DOJ’s investigation cleared Byrd of any wrongdoing in April. An internal Capitol Police probe came to the same conclusion in August.
Byrd revealed his identity for the first time in August during an NBC Nightly News interview.
He told host Lester Holt about the numerous death threats he and his family had been receiving but defended his actions as having ‘saved countless lives.’
Trump called Byrd a ‘murderer’ in an early August statement. He said he spoke with Babbitt’s mother and widower, and added that she was ‘murdered at the hands of someone who should have never pulled the trigger of his gun.’
Babbitt’s death has been a rallying point for Trump supporters who think the election was stolen by President Biden.
Since the riots, four Capitol officers who clashed with the rioters have taken their lives.
Kyle DeFreytag, 26, Howard Liebengood, 51, Jeffrey Smith, 35, and Gunther Hashida, 43, have all killed themselves in the months following the storming of the governmental building.
It leads to fears of the long-term psychological effects the riot might have had on them and questions of whether or not any other factors may have been at play.