A woman was fatally shot as supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol building, ran around the Senate chambers and were live streaming from inside the congressional building as police gathered outside. The New York Times confirmed her death around 6:30 Wednesday evening, January 6, saying police had not released the woman’s identity or who shot her.
Her name is Ashli Babbitt, according to KUSI News in San Diego. Read more about her here. She’s a military veteran from the San Diego area. Some news accounts gave her name as Ashli Babbit, but she goes by Babbitt on social media. Her husband told the station that she was a Trump supporter and “patriot,” and she made QAnon references on Twitter.
However, NBC News reported, via sources, that a member of law enforcement shot the woman. NBC also reported that law enforcement discovered improvised explosive devices on the Capitol grounds. One was “safely detonated” at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee. New York Post reported that the officer was with the Capitol police.
The moment Babbitt was shot, as she went through a window into the Speaker’s lobby, is captured on video. Warning: It’s graphic.
People are using the name Roberta Paulsen for the victim and calling her a martyr, in a reference to “Fight Club.” However, the shot woman is not named Roberta Paulsen; her name has not yet been released.
In the video posted on Twitter, people shout that someone was killed and the video then pans to a woman with blood on her face inside the Capitol. “Oh f***, they killed her,” someone says. It’s not clear yet what happened. CNN confirmed the woman was shot and was in critical condition. “Welcome to the start of a Civil War,” a man says in the video. He says Secret Service shot her and she didn’t have a weapon but that’s unclear. Another man says, “The Capitol Police have killed a Patriot woman.”
According to CNN, the woman was shot in the chest and was initially taken to a hospital in critical condition. The New York Times reported that she was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The Metropolitan Police Department is leading the investigation, the outlet reported.
According to NBC News, 13 people were arrested, none from the area, and five weapons were recovered inside the Capitol.
WARNING: The following video is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.
A video from MSNBC showed the woman being taken out on a stretcher.
The shooting happened outside of the House of Representatives chamber. Photos from inside the House chamber showed U.S. Capitol Police with guns drawn pointing out of the doors of the chamber at a mob trying to break in to the chamber while members of Congress, staffers and press were inside.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, told Fox News he heard a call of shots fired:
Live streamers also showed the Trump mob on the floor of the Senate chamber:
“You break it, you buy it,” one man said in the live stream video. “Hey where’s the Senate floor. They said go to the Senate floor.”
A man in the video declared those inside the Senate as “patriots” and declared the election was a fraud. “They’re trying to get people out.”
They were clustered in a hallway, waving flags and shouting “whose house, our house.”
The scene emerged as dramatic reports came out of the U.S. Capitol building. It was locked down, Vice President Mike Pence was ushered to safety, members of Congress rushed off the floor, debate about certifying the election was stopped, and there were reports of smashed glass, gunfire and people running around the Senate floor. Capitol police officers were injured.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Man Climbed the Dais of the U.S. Senate Chambers to Shout That Trump Won the Election
“They’re in the chamber. One is up on the dais yelling ‘Trump won that election!’ This is insane,” Igor Bobic, a reporter with the Huffington Post, wrote about the Trump supporters.
“Several people got on to a scaffolding outside Senate, took it to second floor, which looked like the area where McConnell’s office is located, and started banging on windows,” wrote Bobic on Twitter.
Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for Blaze TV, shared a video and wrote, “Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down 4 layers of security fencing and are attempting to occupy the building — fighting federal police who are overrun. This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thousands, police can’t stop them.”
There Were Unconfirmed Reports That Someone Was ‘Shooting Into the Chamber’
There are reports that Trump supporters were “shooting into the chamber” of the House at the U.S. Capitol building. “Guns drawn in the chamber,” wrote journalist Matt Fuller. Authorities have not confirmed those accounts.
“They’re shooting into the chamber,” he wrote.
There were reports of injuries to multiple Capitol police officers.
Shortly before the violence erupted, Trump held a rally in which he railed at elections officials, urged Vice President Mike Pence to reject the election results and declared that America no longer has “free and fair” elections. He called some Republicans weak, and he insisted that he won the presidential election, despite even Republican officials in various states, including Georgia, saying that audits and investigations showed that he did not.
Watch video of the Trump supporters as they initially began to storm the Capitol building here:
Here’s additional video:
Julie Tsirkin, a reporter for NBC News, wrote that authorities were evacuating the Library of Congress. She shared an alert that read, “Remain calm and move in a safe manner to the exits” and “Close doors behind you but do not lock.”
She said that the Cannon office Building was also being evacuated. Then, the entire Capitol building went into lockdown.