California woman killed during Capitol riot was a military veteran and staunch Trump supporter – USA TODAY

U.S. Capitol Police identified military veteran Ashli Babbitt as the woman who was shot Wednesday amid a riot inside the Capitol building.

“As protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place, a sworn (U.S. Capitol Police) employee discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female,” police said in a statement Thursday. “Medical assistance was rendered immediately, and the female was transported to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries. She has been identified as Ashli Babbitt.”

The employee has been placed on administrative leave and their police powers have been suspended pending the outcome of a joint Metropolitan Police Department and Capitol Police investigation, police said.

Three other people also died Wednesday, from medical emergencies. They were Benjamin Phillips, 50, from Greentown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, from Athens, Alabama; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, from Kennesaw, Georgia, D.C. police chief Robert Contee III said in a press conference Thursday.

It was not immediately clear how they died. “They were on the grounds of the Capitol when they experienced the medical emergency,” Contee said. Boyland’s family declined to comment.

Timeline:How a Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, forcing Washington into lockdownNumerous media outlets named Babbitt, a 35-year-old San Diego woman, late Wednesday, and KSUI-TV quoted her husband saying she had been a staunch Trump supporter and “a great patriot.”

Graphic videos of the shooting show Babbitt wore a Trump flag as a cape as she tried to crawl through a broken window, flanked by other protesters. A single shot rang out, and she fell to the floor bleeding from an apparent neck wound. 

Police officers screamed for the crowd to make room and a voice heard on video declared, “Ladies and gentlemen, a lady was just shot. She might be dying right now.”

Messages of grief and mourning poured out on social media after Babbitt’s identity was circulated.

The biographical section of a Twitter account with the user name, Ashli Babbitt, using the display name “CommonSenseAsh,” identifies her as a veteran, a Libertarian, and a Second Amendment supporter.

Online, she was vocal about her backing of Trump and appeared in photographs wearing a red ball cap with the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. In September, Babbitt tweeted a photo from a pro-Trump boat parade in San Diego.

On Tuesday, she posted a declaration: “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!”

That message was in response to a post from another Twitter user who pictured a colonial flag overlaid with “1776 Again” above the words, “Trump is still our president.”

Babbitt’s account also shows many retweets. The last one, posted Wednesday, called for Vice President Mike Pence to resign and face charges of treason; for former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to be arrested and charged as an accessory to murder and treason; and for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to resign.

Members of Babbitt’s family could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Babbitt served in the Air Force under the married name of Ashli Elizabeth McEntee. She served as an enlisted airman in the Air Force, serving on active duty and in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, according to records released Thursday.

She worked as an active duty security forces airman, troops with law enforcement training who protect air bases in the United States and abroad. She served on active duty from April 2004 to April 2008 and deployed to Iraq, according to the records. She received several commendations, including for service in the Global War on Terrorism.

She was in the reserve from 2008 to 2010, and the guard from 2010 to 2016.

An undated news release from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska pictured Airman Ashli McEntee with her then husband, Sgt. 1st Class Timothy McEntee, after they had adopted her military working dog. Maryland records show the McEntees divorced in 2019.

Air Force Base in Alaska pictured Airman Ashli McEntee with her then husband, Sgt. 1st Class Timothy McEntee, after they had adopted her military working dog.

A Washington, D.C., Air National Guard news release in 2014 listed Senior Airman Ashli McEntee among 30 personnel being sent to southwest Asia. The article noted it was her eighth deployment and identified her as a mentor to others in the 113th Security Forces Squadron.  

California business records list Ashli Elizabeth McEntee as owner of Fowler’s Pool Service & Supply, a San Diego County business. A LinkedIn account for Ashli McEntee indicates she took over the company in 2017. Customers praised Ashli and Aaron Babbitt online for their service. 

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook

Dennis Wagner and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY; Melissa Daniels, Desert Sun