A woman shot and killed during violent protests that aimed to stop the certification of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States has been identified as 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt. Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III and the U.S. Capitol Police both confirmed Babbitt’s name Thursday. Her relatives, including her husband, previously identified her Wednesday evening to media outlets such as KUSI-TV, an independent television station in San Diego, Calif., the New York Post, and various Washington, D.C. television stations.
BREAKING: Family confirms woman shot & killed at Capitol is Ashli Babbit. She owned a business in San Diego w/ her huband who did not come to DC. “I really dont know why she decided to do this,” her mother-in-law tells me. Police have not confirmed circumstances of shooting pic.twitter.com/OOYpNWpMLg
— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) January 7, 2021
A Twitter account linked to Babbitt, which was reviewed extensively by Law&Crime Wednesday night, indicates that Babbitt was a staunch QAnon adherent who retweeted dozens of conspiracy-theory-laden missives originally posted by Georgia attorney L. Lin Wood.
Wood was at the helm of independent litigation in support President Donald Trump but lost every court case he has filed in support of keeping Trump in office. Indeed, Babbitt’s final tweet was a retweet of an original message by Wood. The tweet contained what Wood — and, ergo, Babbitt — deemed to be a “MUST BE DONE LIST before Congress meets today” to certify Biden’s election. The list demanded the resignation of and charges brought against Vice President Mike Pence and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It also demanded the resignation of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Babbitt issued the retweet of Wood’s list without adding her own comment.
Most of Babbitt’s Twitter activity consisted of retweets. Occasionally, however, she posted pictures of herself wearing QAnon clothing and parroting the QAnon rallying cry “WWG1GWA,” meaning “Where We Go One, We Go All.”
Other tweets showed Babbitt’s obvious and staunch support for Trump. Images showed her standing next to mountains of Trump flags and displaying a pile of Trump bumper stickers.
Her retweets also indicated she strongly supported what ultimately occurred at the U.S. Capitol Building. In one rare comment tweeted by her own hand, she answered “Jan 6, 2021” to the question, “When do we start winning???”
That was the date she lost her life.
Other tweets suggested Babbitt was heavily invested in whatever was to occur Jan. 6th. In one retweet, she echoed President Trump’s call to the capital starting at 11:00 a.m., two hours before Congress was scheduled by federal law to meet to certify Biden’s win, for a so-called “Stop the Steal!” rally.
Another retweet appeared to suggest a “COUP” was being staged against Trump.
In yet another, she rubber-stamped the concept that Jan. 6th would “be 1776 all over again . . . only bigger and better.”
Another retweet was about planes full of Trump supporters, presumably en route to Washington, D.C., the day before the rally and the violence at the Capitol Building,
But Babbitt’s nearly incessant retweets of content posted by Lin Wood, which are almost too numerous to count, stand out among a broader sea of retweets from other conservatives due to their sheer volume. Among the bizarre messages by Wood — again, retweeted by Babbitt — were the following:
The Lin Wood retweets could go on and on. Notably, Babbitt also retweeted the recently pardoned Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and his pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell.
Babbitt also retweeted a video call for supported to come to Washington issued by Donald Trump himself. And, she retweeted an answer as to why she (and others) were going to D.C. on Jan. 6th, the date she ultimately died: “Because my President asked me to.”
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, told NBC News late Wednesday afternoon that the woman shot and killed — who has since been identified as Babbitt — “died because she stormed through the door and an officer had to make the split decision and had to shoot her.” Mullin said the officer’s life is now changed forever and that he grieved for the family of the victim. But he also claimed he would “have a hard time believing these [protesters] are actual, true Trump supporters” because he did not think genuine Trump fans were capable of such behavior.
Babbitt served four tours with the U.S. Air Force as part of a total enlistment of 14 years, KUSI-TV reported. She “was a high level security official,” the station said; however, the Air Force on Thursday said Babbitt served for 12 years — slightly less time — as a “Security Forces Controller.” Officials said Babbitt held the “enlisted rank of senior Airman,” WJLA-TV reported, and that Babbitt served across multiple branches: she was in the Air Force itself from 2004 to 2008, in the Air Force Reserves from 2008 to 2010, and in the Air National Guard from 2010 to 2016. People with her rank and title “are responsible for providing security at Air Force bases,” the Air Force told WJLA.
NPR reported that Babbitt was unarmed when she was shot.
The Capitol Police on Thursday described her death this way:
As protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place, a sworn USCP employee discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female. Medical assistance was rendered immediately, and the female was transported to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries. She has been identified as Ashli Babbitt.
Multiple videos circulating online showed a woman who appeared to be Babbitt amid a group of people in the capitol who crowded a doorway area which separated a stair well from a hallway. Several law enforcement officers appeared to be guarding the hallway beyond the doors; others dressed as officers appeared to be among the protesters in the stair well. The doorway windows appeared smashed, and the doors themselves appeared barricaded. A woman wearing a red, white, and blue backpack and who was draped with a Trump flag attempted to climb through one of the busted windows. A single shot rang out, and the woman fell backwards. Panic ensued. A voice audible on one video of the scene said the sound was “just a flash bang.” A man in a suit and tie began arguing with people dressed as officers who were among the protesters. In other recordings, voices accused the police of “murdering” the woman. Other voices questioned why she was shot. A still image which circulated online showed a man wearing a Capitol Police patch applying pressure to the woman’s wound as she bled over his hand through her nose and mouth. Additional recordings showed emergency resuscitation efforts by who appeared to be Capitol Police officers. The officers argued with protesters that they could not attend to the woman unless the protesters moved out of the way.
Lin Wood’s Twitter account was suspended early Thursday morning.
[featured image via Ashli Babbit/Twitter]
Editor’s note: this report has been updated after its initial publication to contain a verbal description of the videos and photos circulating online and to note that Wood’s account was suspended. It was updated again to add official confirmation of Babbitt’s identity and to clarify official confirmation of her military service.
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