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Who is Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot at assault on the Capitol?

She was shot in the middle of the chaos in the Capitol, then died in hospital. Defined by her husband as a “patriot”, who was Ashli Babbitt?

Who is Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot at assault on the Capitol?
JIM URQUHART REUTERS

In the last hours of her life, Ashli Babbitt spent her time doing one of her leader’s favourite activities: tweeting. She’d compulsively shared dozens of messages on Twitter about the protests that surrounded the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon. She attended what came to be named “insurrection” by Joe Biden with thousands of supporters – or fanatics – of Donald Trump on the day that Congress was due to ratify Joe Biden as the next president.

“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!” Babbitt tweeted on 5 January, the day before the chaos began. Other posts followed the same rhetoric, defending her president and endorsing the extremist conspiracies surrounding the alleged election fraud that led to Biden’s win in November’s election.

According to the Washington Post, the next day, after she’d jumped onto a window pane with a Trump flag wrapped around her waist and started into the Capitol building, Babbitt was fatally shot. The woman was shot by U.S. Capitol Police, D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III told reporters on Wednesday. Three others died of unspecified medical emergencies during the violence.

Who was Ashli Babbitt? QAnon supporter fatally shot at Capitol

Babbit, 35 years-old and from San Diego, California was a US Air Force veteran, but more recently managed a swimming pool supply company with her husband, Aaron Babbitt. Speaking to San Diego station KUSI, Babbitt’s husband ensured that her legacy as a “great patriot” was secured, saying she was a passionate Trump supporter. Ashli Babbitt’s mother-in-law was more critical in speaking to WTTG; confirming that her son had not accompanied her to the capital “I really don’t know why she decided to do this.

Her ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, from whom she split in 2019 spoke to the Washington Post, saying that Babbitt was deployed by the National Guard to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait in her time serving in the Armed Forces, where they met. After separating in 2019, she remarried with Mr Babbitt. McEntee told the post that she was“very loud and opinionated, but caring, sweet, thoughtful, loving.” He did not know she’d travelled to Washington.

On Twitter, Babbitt recorded impassioned and antagonistic videos about immigration policy and expressing her support for a border wall. In early September 2020, she tweeted a picture of herself at a Trump boat parade in San Diego wearing a shirt that said, “We are Q,” referring to QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory. The post included the hashtag “#WWG1WGA,” an acronym used by supporters who believe in the claims that Trump was battling a group of “deep state” child abusers.