Babbitt, a decorated U.S. Air Force Gulf War veteran, was struck in the shoulder while attempting to illegally enter the Speaker’s Lobby, an area near to the House floor, through a smashed window beside a barricaded door. It is unclear whether she heard shouted warnings over the crowd around her before she climbed within view of the lieutenant, who drew his gun and fired.
Smartphone video shows Babbitt being struck in the shoulder and falling back onto a patterned marble floor, bleeding. Police quickly summoned medical help and evacuated her on a stretcher. She was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center, leaving behind a husband, Aaron, and four younger brothers.
The police lieutenant who shot Babbitt has yet to publicly provide his side of the fatal encounter, and law enforcement officials have not released his name. Terry Roberts, the Babbitt family’s lawyer, said he knows the shooter’s name and is aware of some of his police service record.
“A rookie police officer would not have shot this woman,” Roberts told Zenger News. “If she committed any crime by going through the window and into the Speaker’s Lobby, it would have been trespassing. Some misdemeanor crime. All a rookie cop would have done is arrest her.”
The attorney said that the shooting officer had “plenty of other officers there to assist with arrest.”
She tried to climb head first through the broken glass window of a door separating the hallway from the lobby, which had been barricaded from the inside with furniture. Other members of the crowd had broken out chunks of glass on the doors while pounding on them “with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects,” the Justice Department said.
Watch her get shot. It happens fast. Babbitt is to the upper right of the video and is shot at about the 8 second mark. Click on the Watch on YouTube.