"Nothing will stop us," Ashli Babbitt tweeted a day before the Capitol siege where she was shot in the shoulder as she tried to enter the building
Pro-Trump mobs stormed the Capitol on January 6 with the sole intention of wreaking havoc. The rioters hoped to try and "Stop the Steal" of an election they believed was rigged. Egged on by Donald Trump himself, the mob included QAnon conspiracy theorists, right-wing activists, and other groups. With little to no resistance from the security personnel, the MAGA rioters roamed the halls of Congress wielding guns and calling for violence. Five people died during the siege.
The vandalizers smashed windows and were headed farther into the Capitol building. A woman wearing a Trump flag around her waist climbed onto one such windowpane only to be shot in the shoulder. She fell backward and onto the floor, with blood spilling from her shoulder and pouring from her mouth. This was caught on camera and the woman was recognized as a US air force veteran, Ashli Babbitt. She died later that day succumbing to her injuries. The others at the scene lost their lives from unspecified medical emergencies.
Ashli Babbit stormed the Capitol and tried to breach the window into the Speaker’s Lobby, which is why she was killed. Peacefully protest outside, invading a federal building is terrorism. pic.twitter.com/fFBmgoiALs— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 7, 2021
Babbitt, 35, was one among many others preparing for the siege. In fact, just a day before storming, she wrote on Twitter, "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!" Before being sucked into the world of conspiracy theories, Babbitt was a 14-year veteran of the US air force and of four foreign military tours, including to Iraq and Afghanistan, reported The Guardian. She was also a high-level security official throughout her time in service which included deployments to Kuwait and Qatar as well.
The California native was a staunch supporter of Trump and had flown all the way from San Diego to Washington DC for the attempted coup. Her husband, Aaron Babbitt told KVIA that he stayed home to operate the pool supply company business they owned together. She left for DC to join the pro-Trump rally which turned out to be a riot. "I really don’t know why she decided to do this," Babbitt's mother-in-law said. "I feel absolutely terrible and sick to my stomach about it," Timothy McEntee, Babiit's ex-husband told The Washington Post. "She was never afraid to speak her mind and in a way, this was her way of speaking her mind (going to the rally)."
Others close to Babbitt have also responded with shock at the turn of events. Her brother, Roger Witthoeft, 32, stated that she hadn't even informed her family that she was planning to go to Washington. "My sister was 35 and served 14 years — to me, that’s the majority of your conscious adult life," Witthoeft told The New York Times, and said that he was not surprised at all that she would protest. "If you feel like you gave the majority of your life to your country and you’re not being listened to, that is a hard pill to swallow. That’s why she was upset." Witthoeft stated that their family was mostly apolitical growing up. But, now, Babbitt’s political leanings were pro-Trump.
BREAKING: Family confirms woman shot & killed at Capitol is Ashli Babbit. She owned a business in San Diego w/ her huband who did not come to DC. “I really dont know why she decided to do this,” her mother-in-law tells me. Police have not confirmed circumstances of shooting pic.twitter.com/OOYpNWpMLg— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) January 7, 2021
Babbitt left the military as a relatively low-ranking senior airman in 2016 who was still not eligible for a pension and other benefits. She later found employment as security at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant in Maryland from 2015 to 2017. She divorced McEntee in 2018. In 2016, however, when she was still married to McEntee, she had rear-ended Aaron Babbitt's former girlfriend's car three times. She applied for a protection order against Babbitt which was granted. In 2017, she was sued by EBF Partners from whom she had borrowed money for her business and refused to pay them back.
"Ashli Babbitt, 35, was accused of lying in wait for her then-boyfriend's ex, chasing her down a Maryland highway in her SUV and deliberately rear-ending her three times in an apparent fit of jealousy."https://t.co/Xlg0gRkL1n— Josh “Thanos” Webb (@FightOnTwist) January 8, 2021
Babbitt felt free to express her political views after she left the military and it reflected on her social media. She had videos of her opposing immigration policy and expressing her support for a border wall. Her posts also revealed that she was a part of QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theorists. On January 4, Babbitt had tweeted, "Landing in DC. Here to do God’s work. Save the Republic. #StoptheSteal. I will be there tomorrow! Gods speed!" In the attempt to halt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory, Babbitt lost her life. The graphic video of her demise has been making the rounds on social media.