Newly surfaced video captured the unsettling moments leading up to the death of Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was fatally shot during this week's US Capitol seige.
The footage, which was published by the The Washington Post, shows the 35-year-old among a crowd of Trump supporters attempting to break down a barricaded door within the building. Rioters are seen using helmets and flagpoles to break the door windows, as others are heard shouting, "Break it down!" The Post reports the doors led to the Speaker's Lobby, which would've given the mob access to the House chamber.
As the crowd continued to cause damage, a rioter yells, "He's got a gun!" and directs the camera toward a lawman who is seen holding up his firearm on the other side of the door. Another angle shows Babbitt attempting to climb through one of the windows that had already been broken. Seconds later, gunshots were fired and Babbitt is seen falling to the ground while holding her neck. Officers immediately told the crowd to back up as one man tended to Babbitt, who had a Trump flag draped around her shoulders. The video cuts out shortly after.
Babbitt was transferred to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was one of five people, including a USCP officer, who were killed amid the riots. The unidentified officer involved in the shooting was reportedly placed on administrative leave as the Metropolitan Police Department and USCP conduct an investigation.
The New York Times reports Babbitt had served in the US military for 14 years before returning to Southern California where she was raised. She followed up her military service by working security for a power plant and running a pool supply company with her husband, Aaron Raymond Babbitt. According to the Times, Babbitt was a proud supporter of President Trump and would frequently use social media to praise his work, as well as criticize Democratic lawmakers.
"You guys refuse, refuse to choose America over your stupid political party, I am so tired of it," she said in a Twitter video addressing California politicians. "You can consider yourself put on notice. Me and the American people. I am so tired of it, I am woke, man, this is absolutely unbelievable."
Babbitt's younger brother, Roger Witthoeft, told the Times they had grown up in a working-class household that was relatively apolitical. And although he wasn't informed that Babbitt would be participating in Wednesday's demonstration, he said he wasn't at all surprised.
"My sister was 35 and served 14 years — to me that’s the majority of your conscious adult life," Witthoeft explained. "If you feel like you gave the majority of your life to your country and you’re not being listened to, that is a hard pill to swallow. That’s why she was upset."
WARNING: The following videos contain graphic content.
Here's the video of the Capitol police shooting Ashli Babbitt as she and others attempted to break into the Speaker's Lobby (a warning about viewing this)— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) January 8, 2021
the clip is from this much longer YouTube account of the entire mob, riot of the Capitol.https://t.co/RjENzRn2wb pic.twitter.com/XzOkcCUgls