The woman shot and killed by police as protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a supporter of President Donald Trump.
Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old native of San Diego, served four tours of duty in the Air Force, her husband Aaron Babbitt told KUSI. She was also a high-level security official while in the service, the station reported. Her husband did not accompany Babbitt to Washington.
The U.S. Capitol Police employee who shot Babbitt was placed on administrative leave, according to reporter Alex Moe.
First statement from United States Capitol Police on riot in Capitol yesterday which ends saying: "The USCP is conducting a thorough review of this incident, security planning and policies and procedures." pic.twitter.com/qn4IzY8I4N
Lawmakers are vowing an investigation into how law enforcement handled Wednesday’s violent breach at the Capitol, questioning whether a lack of preparedness allowed a mob to occupy and vandalize the building.
U.S. Capitol Police, who are charged with protecting Congress, turned to other law enforcement for help with the mob that overwhelmed the complex and sent lawmakers into hiding. Both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hours-long occupation of the complex before it was cleared Wednesday evening.
Four other people died, including three who suffered “medical emergencies” related to the breach, said Robert Contee, chief of the city’s Metropolitan Police Department.
A Capitol Police officer died from injuries sustained during Wednesday’s riot, according to reporter Kristin Wilson.
A US Capitol Police officer involved in the riots at the Capitol yesterday has died, according to two USCP sources
Police said 52 people were arrested as of Wednesday night, including 26 on the Capitol grounds. Fourteen police officers were injured, Contee said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, chair of the House Administration Committee, said the breach “raises grave security concerns,″ adding that her committee will work with House and Senate leaders to review the police response — and its preparedness.
Lawmakers crouched under desks and donned gas masks while police futilely tried to barricade the building when people marched to the Capitol from a rally near the White House in support of Trump. Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Florida, a former police chief, said it was “painfully obvious” that Capitol police “were not prepared for today. I certainly thought that we would have had a stronger show of force, that there would have been steps taken in the very beginning to make sure that there was a designated area for the protesters in a safe distance from the Capitol.″
In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday night, Demings said it appeared police were woefully understaffed, adding that “it did not seem that they had a clear operational plan to really deal with” thousands of rioters who descended on the Capitol following Trump’s complaints of a “rigged election.″
The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to come to Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The protests interrupted those proceedings for nearly seven hours.
The mob broke windows, entered Senate and House chambers and went into the offices of lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Demings said there were “a lot of unanswered questions and I’m damn determined to get answers to those questions about what went wrong today.″
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, suggested there could be leadership changes at the Capitol police.
“I think it’s pretty clear that there’s going to be a number of people who are going to be without employment very, very soon because this is an embarrassment both on behalf of the mob, and the president, and the insurrection, and the attempted coup, but also the lack of professional planning and dealing with what we knew was going to occur,” Ryan said.