WASHINGTON D.C.—The first death confirmed as a result of U.S. Capitol protests on Wednesday, January 6 was that of a 35-year-old Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer. Protests at the United States Senate and House of Representatives involved trespassing into the legislative buildings, break-ins reaching the House and Senate Chambers, confrontations between protesters and police, and the use of bombs.
As protesters forced their way into the House Chamber before 3 p.m., a United States Capitol Police (USCP) officer discharged his weapon, fatally striking Ashli Babbitt, who was immediately transported to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
The Capitol police officer who fatally shot Babbitt was placed on administrative leave as per USCP policy, according to Chief of Police Steven Sund in a press release. The officer’s powers have been suspended pending the results of a joint investigation involving the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the United States Capitol Police (USCP).
In a video clip originally posted by Twitter user “Jaydex X,” and later uploaded by the New York Post, Babbitt can be seen attempting to climb through a broken window as pro-Trump protesters forced their way to the House Chamber when she was shot fatally. The sparks of the weapon discharge can be seen in the video.
Aaron Babbitt, Ashli’s husband, said in an interview with KUSI News that she was indeed a 14-year veteran who served “four tours with the US Air Force” and was a “high-level security officer during her time in service.” He added, “she was a strong supporter of President Trump and was a great patriot to all who knew her.”
Fox News reporter Hollie McKay documented social media postings, military veteran history, and career background after discharge from the military. Babbitt held an E4 Senior Airman’s rank and received a dozen awards and medals, including a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and Air Force Reserve Meritorious Service Medal.
Ashley left the military in 2008, having served under the title of security forces controller at the Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, and her occupation was a small business owner before the moment of her death.
She was also a small business leader of Fowlers Pool Service and Supply, a San Diego-based company that provides pool repair and pool equipment installation services. “Happy Veterans Day from all of us at Fowler’s Pool Service,” Babbitt said. “We are so honored to be led by these two who are our fearless leaders and who inspire us everyday with their strength and positivity. You both have been through so much and we owe our freedom to you and all of the other veterans out there who have risked everything. We appreciate everything you do for us and all of our amazing clients.”
Ashli can be seen in one Instagram video which is part of a series of photos, some with her husband.
Under the Twitter account “CommonAsheSense,” she had 22.9K followers as of January 8, 2021, 11:33 a.m. Her most recent tweets and retweets include thematic content about endorsing President Trump, including the Twitter hashtag trend, #StopTheSteal, and opposition to California Governor Gavin Newsom. On January 1, for example, she retweeted the following message: “This is a COUP. They do not Fear us. They don’t even try to hide now.”
Ashli was married twice, first to Sergeant Timothy McEntee, and second to Aaron Babbitt in 2019, the same year of her divorce to McEntee.
In an interview with Fox News, Timothy McEntee said she was “never afraid to speak her mind,” and that she was “loud and opinionated, but caring, thoughtful, loving,” as well as a woman who “loved America with all her heart.”
Timothy and Ashli were both mentioned in a Pacific Air Forces article about their decision to adopt a military dog in 2008, and their whereabouts at the time, stationed at Dyess AFB, Texas.
“As most every security forces specialist puts in 12-hour shifts, works hard in the field and charges through long and frequent deployments, he/she can only hope to depart from the force with a nice, cushy and well-deserved retirement.”
Describing the dog they adopted at the time, the author went on to describe Timothy McEntee and Airmen 1st Class Ashli Babbitt, then known as Ashly McEntee.
“Now, he gets to live the good life with the adopted family of his most recent handler, Staff Sgt. Timothy and wife, Airman 1st Class Ashli McEntee, currently stationed at Dyess AFB, Texas.”
As of January 8, a total of five people were confirmed killed and identified. Three others died from medical emergencies, including 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland of Kennesaw, Georgia, 55-year-old Kevin Greeson of Athens, Alabama, and 50-year-old Benjamin Phillips of Ringtown, Pennsylvania. Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who clashed with protesters, succumbed to his injuries at about 9:30 p.m. on January 7, Capitol Police said in a statement.