Report: Charges Unlikely In Capitol Shooting Death Of Ashli Babbitt
Criminal charges are unlikely to be filed against a U.S. Capitol Police lieutenant who killed Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter who stormed the Capitol last month because a preliminary investigation has not found enough evidence to forward such a recommendation to federal prosecutors, it was reported Monday evening.
Officials warned, however, the investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, was not complete, according to The New York Times.
Video footage from the Jan. 6 raid showed Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was shot by a Capitol police officer while climbing through the busted-out window of a door to the Speaker's Lobby.
Past the door was the House chamber, where members of Congress were sheltering in place, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said in a statement.
The unidentified officer who shot Babbitt was placed on administrative leave, per department policy, and the officer's police powers have been suspended, Sund said.
The officer was interviewed by investigators last week, The Times reported.
A formal, federal excessive force investigation into Babbitt's death was opened days after the riot, described to The Times by a Justice Department spokeswoman as a "routine, standard procedure whenever an officer deploys lethal force."
The day before chaos descended on the Capitol, Babbitt retweeted a video from the pro-Trump page Right Side Broadcasting Network of a rally in Freedom Plaza, which made mention of "big protests" happening the next day.
Her final Twitter post, made Jan. 6, said, "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!"
Babbitt's husband, Aaron Babbitt, told Fox 5 San Diego, that he sent his wife a message about 30 minutes before the shooting, but did not hear back.
"She loved her country and 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. "She was voicing her opinion and she got killed for it."
Online records and Babbitt's Facebook page identify her as the CEO of Fowler's Pool Service and Supply Inc. in Spring Valley, which she co-owned with her husband.
Five people died during the assault on the Capitol and in the immediate aftermath.