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In an interview with Lester Holt for NBC News on Thursday, Byrd—who’s never before been officially identified—said he’s been living in hiding for months following the riot that was spurred by a refusal to accept Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss. Trump and other similarly aligned figures, as previously reported, have been sued in connection with the fatal riot.
“They talked about killing me, cutting off my head,” Byrd, who used deadly force against Babbitt during the riot, said when asked to detail the threats he’s received from Trump-aligned individuals since Jan. 6. “Very vicious and cruel things. There were some racist attacks, as well. It’s all disheartening because I know I was doing my job.”
Later in the emotional interview, Byrd said he believes he showed the “utmost courage” on Jan. 6 by saving “countless lives” and is aiming to do that now, as well. Addressing the specific moment that resulted in Babbitt’s death, Byrd said he had been loudly screaming for rioters to get back. He and others also had their weapons drawn. At the time, Babbitt—a Trump supporter—was climbing through a window.