A woman was shot and killed on Wednesday as an angry mob of Trump supporters seeking to overturn the results of the election took over the Capitol building.
Much remains unclear about the circumstances of the shooting. The sudden invasion of the Capitol on Wednesday by the mob created such an atmosphere of chaos that, even on Thursday, it remains difficult to fully discern what took place.
Late Wednesday, the Metropolitan police did announce that three other people also died during the riot. Police have said that they died of medical emergencies, but have not yet offered any specifics.
Here’s what we do know about the woman’s shooting:
- The woman was identified by Capitol Police Thursday morning as Ashli Babbitt. The Washington Post and local outlets — all of which spoke to her family members — reported that she was a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from California.
- Steven Sund, chief of the Capitol Police, added that, per department policy, the officer who shot her has been placed on administrative leave and had their police powers suspended pending a joint investigation by Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
- Sund also said that medical aid was rendered to Babbitt but that she died in a nearby hospital.
- The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that she was a member of the crowd that had broken past barriers into the Capitol building.
- The D.C. fire department reported on Wednesday bringing her to the hospital. MSNBC aired footage of paramedics taking her from the Capitol grounds.
- It’s not clear what led to the shooting, though video posted online shows a crowded corridor in the Capitol building before a shot goes off and Babbitt falls.
- The events took place in front of the doors that lead into the Speaker’s Lobby just off the House chamber.
- Sund, the Capitol Police chief, said that the mob she was a part of was headed towards the House chamber where members of Congress were sheltering in place.
- The shooting may have been audible in other parts of the Capitol building. A pool report from 2:45 p.m. said that “gunfire” was audible from the House press gallery.
- Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said that he witnessed the shooting. “I was right there when that person came through the door, and that person got shot,” Mullin told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “It’s a tragic situation that took place. It left the officer no other choice. This should have never happened. It’s sickening that it took place.”
- Babbitt’s social media accounts show her to have been vociferously pro-Trump and an adherent of various false conspiracy theories, including QAnon, the belief system that, at its most extreme, asserts that prominent Democrats are pedophiles and Satanists and looks forward to the “storm” when those people will be tried or executed.
- In one of her final social media posts, a response to a Tweet about plan delays coming into D.C., she seemed to reference than final judgment-like event, writing: “Nothing will stop us … they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours … dark to light!”
This post has been updated.