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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice (DOJ), via a press release, has announced that it has officially closed their investigation into the death of 35-year-old Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the January 6 riots inside the Capitol Building. The officer in question, whose identity has not been publicly released, will not be facing charges in connection with the shooting, officials say.
The DOJ stated there was insufficient evidence to support criminal prosecution of the officer, who they say shot Babbitt in self-defense.
“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” the release said.
The DOJ said that their investigation confirmed that Babbit was among a group of rioters at the Capitol who were attempting to break through a barricaded doorway in a hallway that led to the chamber where members of Congress were in the process of being evacuated.
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“As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out,” the release said. “An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor.”
Bystander video at the scene of the shooting appears to confirm that DOJ’s version of events. In the video, a U.S. Capitol officer can seen pointing his gun at the barricaded door, whose windows have been broken through, and then fires a single shot; the camera immediately pans to the right, and Babbitt, who was climbing through one of the windows, falls back and onto the floor.
Babbitt, who was unarmed, was treated at the scene and later died at a local area hospital.
The DOJ acknowledged “the tragic loss of life” and offered “condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family,” but stated that they had closed the investigation into the matter.
However, Terry Roberts, the attorney representing Babbitt’s family, issued a statement upon the news of the DOJ clearing the officer, pledging to continue the legal battle in civil court.
“The actual evidence is this: the officer shot an unarmed woman who was not an immediate threat to him or any Member of Congress,” she said. “That is inconsistent with any claim of self-defense or the defense of others, period.”
According to a GoFundMe page set up by a family friend, Destinie Condon, Ashli was a “Wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, friend, veteran, patriot. These words will forever describe Ashli who tragically lost her life on January 6th supporting a cause she believed in with her whole being.”