A Capitol Police officer said he didn't use his gun at the insurrection because it would have been like 'throwing kerosene' on a fire

·2 min read
Capitol riot
Supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police officers and security forces outside the US Capitol on January 6. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

A Capitol Police officer said he didn't fire his gun at the insurrection on January 6 because he feared it would have been like "throwing kerosene" on a fire.

"The only reason why I didn't do it was because the mentality was this is a four-alarm blaze," Officer James Blassingame told "PBS News Hour" in an interview that aired Wednesday, "and if I pull my gun out and start shooting, I'm throwing kerosene on it. Maybe there's a chance I survive if I don't pull my weapon, but if I do, I'm probably not going to make it out of here alive, you know. You don't have enough bullets."

Blassingame, who has filed a civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump accusing him of inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol, said he had never been in a situation where felt he needed to use his gun - until the siege.

Blassingame's fears are not unfounded. Officers at the Capitol that day were outnumbered and overwhelmed as crowds of rioters forced their way up the steps and into the legislative building using blunt weapons and chemical sprays.

Investigators have suggested that the brutality could have escalated, finding that several attendees had spoken online about plans to bring firearms to Washington, DC. Capitol Police and officers with the Metropolitan Police Department caught people there with guns and explosives.

A criminal complaint said footage appeared to show Kevin Creek, a military veteran who was charged this week, attacking an officer before trying to enter the Capitol. He told investigators he'd had a knife and chemical spray, it said.

At least 516 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection. Two people, Jon Schaffer and Paul Hodgkins, have pleaded guilty.

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