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No charges against officer who fatally shot San Diego woman during US Capitol riot

Capitol riots
Posted at 2:10 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 14:10:19-04

SAN DIEGO — Charges will not be filed against the U.S. Capitol Police officer who fatally shot an Ocean Beach woman after demonstrators stormed inside the U.S. capitol last January.

Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot on Jan. 6 as she attempted to climb through a broken door window into the Speaker's Lobby inside the Capitol, according to USCP.

Investigators said there was "no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber."

Officers used furniture to barricade the lobby from the hallway that Babbitt and other demonstrators were in to prevent them from further forcing their way into the Capitol, USCP said:

"The investigation determined that, on January 6, 2021, Ms. Babbitt joined a crowd of people that gathered on the U.S. Capitol grounds to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election. Inside the Capitol building, a Joint Session of Congress, convened to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, was underway. Members of the crowd outside the building, which was closed to the public during the Joint Session, eventually forced their way into the Capitol building and past U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers attempting to maintain order. The Joint Session was stopped, and the USCP began evacuating members of Congress.

The investigation further determined that Ms. Babbitt was among a mob of people that entered the Capitol building and gained access to a hallway outside 'Speaker’s Lobby,' which leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time, the USCP was evacuating Members from the Chamber, which the mob was trying to enter from multiple doorways. USCP officers used furniture to barricade a set of glass doors separating the hallway and Speaker’s Lobby to try and stop the mob from entering the Speaker’s Lobby and the Chamber, and three officers positioned themselves between the doors and the mob. Members of the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects. Eventually, the three USCP officers positioned outside the doors were forced to evacuate. As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out."

One officer fired one round from his service weapon at Babbitt and she climbed through the broken door, striking her in the left shoulder, according to USCP. She was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where she died.

Babbitt grew up in Lakeside and was an Air Force veteran. She was one of five people who died at or near the Capitol during the January riot.

Mark Saunders at KGTV first reported this story.