The woman who was fatally shot when a mob supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol was identified by authorities Thursday as Ashli Babbitt, whose family described her as an Air Force veteran and avid supporter of Trump and his efforts to stay in office.
The shooting occurred as thousands of rioters forced their way into the House chamber, where members of Congress were hiding, according to Steven A. Sund, chief of the Capitol Police.
He said rioters “actively attacked” Capitol police and other law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants and “took up other weapons against our officers.” The scene was “unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” Sund said in a statement.
Ashli Babbitt’s husband, Aaron Babbitt, told KSWB-TV, a Fox affiliate in San Diego, that he and his wife, 35, live in San Diego and that she was in Washington on Wednesday to support Trump. Aaron Babbitt sent his wife a message about 30 minutes before the shooting and never heard back.
“She loved her country and she was doing what she thought was right to support her country, joining up with like-minded people that also love their president and their country,” he told the news station.
A Twitter account under Babbitt’s name identifies her as a veteran, Libertarian and supporter of the Second Amendment. She frequently retweeted comments by the president and his supporters about Wednesday’s gathering and their discredited claims of election fraud. Her last comment, posted Friday, read, “Jan 6, 2021” with American flag and thumbs-up emojis.
The Twitter account also included news of a recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, including an endorsement by Kevin Faulconer, a former San Diego mayor.
Ashli Elizabeth McEntee is chief executive officer of Fowlers Pool Service & Supply Inc. in Spring Valley, California, near San Diego, according to California secretary of state business records. The company’s chief financial officer is Aaron Raymond Babbitt, her husband.
Babbitt’s ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, called her a “wonderful woman with a big heart and a strong mind” in an email to The San Diego Union-Tribune. McEntee said he and Babbitt were married from April 2005 to May 2019.
A Facebook account with Babbitt’s name says she married Aaron Babbitt on June 25, 2019, and identifies her employer as Fowlers Pool Service.
The Air Force said Thursday that Ashli Elizabeth McEntee was on active duty from 2004 to 2008, most recently at Dyes Air Force Base near Abilene, Texas. She was also member of the Air Force Reserve from 2008 to 2010 and the Air National Guard from 2010 to 2016.