Ashli Babbitt’s shooter on January 6 was identified on Thursday as “Lieutenant Michael Leroy Byrd,” Newsweek reported.
Terry Roberts, an attorney who represents the victim’s family, revealed the name, suggesting that Byrd’s identity was covered up by the U.S. Capitol Police, congressional staffers, and federal investigations because “no one would divulge it.”
“The U.S. Congress wants to protect this man. He’s got friends in high places and they want to protect him,” Roberts said. “And they’ve done a pretty good job of it. … I don’t think it’s a proud moment for the U.S. Capitol Police or the U.S. Congress.”
“Byrd’s attorney, Mark Schamel, did not dispute the positive identification,” Newsweek reported.
Roberts apparently publicized the name after Byrd was set to be interviewed by NBC’s Lester Holt in a recorded interview.
““Roberts told Zenger Wednesday night that the shooter was "Lieutenant Michael Leroy Byrd."
Byrd's attorney, Mark Schamel, did not dispute the positive identification.”
Same guy who left his loaded gun in a public restroom while kids were on a tour. https://t.co/OvrODOnVpb
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) August 26, 2021
“They put out there that his [Byrd’s] life would be in danger if he came forward, and we know now that that can’t be true because he’s coming forward on his own,” Roberts explained. “So, you know, he used that as an excuse.”
Not much is known about Byrd, 53, who is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran from the Gulf War. According to a neighbor of Byrd’s, his “family roots are in Jamaica.”
Unarmed, Babbitt was killed on January 6 during the Capital riot, but no one was charged with her death. Babbitt was the only person killed by gunfire during the riot.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø