Five people have died in connection with the chaos that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, when a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the government building in what has been labeled an attempted coup. One woman who participated in the riot was fatally shot by Capitol Police, and three others died from unspecified medical emergencies. A police officer was also reported dead on Thursday.
Around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, NBC News confirmed the first fatality: The woman who was shot — the aftermath of which was captured and widely shared in a graphic unverified video — had succumbed to her wounds. While police have yet to confirm the following details, she has been identified by her ex-husband as Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old California native and Air Force veteran. In an interview with the Washington Post, Babbitt’s ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, said he was unaware that she had traveled to Washington, D.C., though she had posted about attending the riot on social media. “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!” she tweeted on Tuesday. In other posts, Babbitt echoed President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, and once tweeted a photo of herself wearing a shirt emblazoned with “We are Q,” the far-right conspiracy theory. “She was never afraid to speak her mind and in a way this was her way of speaking her mind (going to the rally),” McEntee told the Post.
Police have yet to clarify the details of how Babbitt was shot, though the Post reports that Capitol Police fired at her as she was attempting to climb through a broken window pane outside the House chamber. (One unverified video corroborates this narrative.) The Metropolitan Police Department of D.C. is currently investigating her death.
The other three deaths were announced late on Wednesday night, when MPD chief Robert Contee told reporters that one adult woman and two adult men “appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies” around Capitol grounds, “which resulted in their deaths.”
Local authorities still haven’t confirmed how these individuals died, but the Daily Beast published their identities. 50-year-old Benjamin Philips of Pennsylvania, who — according to the Philadelphia Inquirer — coordinated a van to bring other participants to D.C., is believed to have died of a stroke at some point after he dropped off his passengers for Trump’s address. The Inquirer, which interviewed Philips before his death, describes him as “a fervent Trump supporter” who made websites such as “The Scummy Democrats” and a social network called “Trumparoo.”
“There needs to be more uncensored spaces,” he told the outlet en route to D.C. “I envision a whole network of niche social networks based on interests. You don’t need Twitter and Facebook, they hate us. They don’t need us there.”
The Daily Beast also identified 55-year-old Kevin Greeson of Alabama. Greeson’s wife, Kristie, told the New York Times she was on the phone with him when he collapsed from a heart attack. Calling her husband a “political junkie” who “saw the good and bad in Trump,” Kristie Greeson said didn’t want him to attend in the first place because she “didn’t feel like it was safe,” but “he felt like it was a monumental event.”
Police have reportedly indicated that, in addition to Babbitt, one more woman died Wednesday, after being crushed by the crowd. Although authorities have not corroborated the details, that woman would appear to be 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland of Georgia, whose sisters confirmed her death to local media. The Daily Beast reports that Boyland also had a history of promoting anti-vaxxer and coronavirus conspiracy theories, along with far-right disinformation from Project Veritas, online.
On Thursday morning, Contee announced that at least 56 D.C. police officers had been injured in the previous day’s events, several of them hospitalized. Now, CNN reports that one of those officers has died.
Meanwhile, few arrests were made in connection with the riot. As of Thursday night, 68 people had been arrested. Contee initially said most of those taken into custody received charges related to curfew violations. While the FBI has set up a tip website asking the public to help identify individuals who were “actively instigating violence,” it is unclear whether any Trump supporters who defaced government property will face repercussions. U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, however, has tendered his resignation.
This article has been updated.