Ashley Babbitt wrote on social media the day before her death about the upcoming rally of Trump supporters in Washington, DC.
“Nothing will stop us, they can try, but the storm is here and it will descend on Washington DC in less than 24 hours,” Babbitt said.
Babbitt, 35, was among the mobs who stormed the Congress building on Wednesday, and was identified by Congressional police as one of five people who died in the chaos.
Her ex-husband, Timothy McCanty, told US media that Babbitt is a veteran of the US Air Force and served in Afghanistan and Iraq before later deploying with the National Guard in Kuwait and Qatar.
Born in San Diego, California, Ashley Babbitt recently remarried and worked with husband Aaron Babbitt at a pool service company.
She described herself on social media as liberal and patriotic, and has been talking about President Donald Trump, expressing her strong support for him and echoing his unproven allegations about widespread election fraud.
“She had a personality that she could love or hate, and she did not apologize for it,” McNty told NPR.
Last September, she posted a photo of a pro-Trump boat parade in San Diego wearing a T-shirt that read “We Q,” referring to the QI Nun, the far-right conspiracy theory that is completely unfounded and says Trump is fighting a covert war against Devil worshippers.
Days before the demonstrations this week, she wrote on her Twitter account that she would be in Washington to attend the Trump rally, “Stop theft,” referring to allegations of election fraud.
“I will be in the capital on January 6, God bless America, and where we go we will all go,” she said, a common phrase among QI supporters.
Her mother-in-law Robin Babbitt told local Fox station that her son had not joined his wife on the march.
“I really don’t know why I decided to do this,” she added.
In a video posted on the Internet, a woman believed to be Ashley Babbitt was seen holding the flag of Make America Great Again, wrapped around her shoulders in a crowd of rioters inside a congressional building trying to pass through a group of closed doors, and a congressional policeman was seen holding a pistol aimed at the group.
Then the woman was seen climbing a ledge next to the door, and almost immediately a loud boom was heard and she was photographed falling to the ground.
In a statement, Congressional police said that a Congressional policeman fired his service weapon and wounded a woman “while the demonstrators were making their way toward the House of Representatives room where members of Congress were sheltering.”
Police said Babbitt was taken to hospital with a gunshot and died later that evening. The officer who shot her was placed on administrative leave but was not identified.
Babbitt’s mother-in-law told the American media that she was stunned by the news, and told the New York Post, “Nobody from Washington notified my son that we learned this from the TV screen.”
Four more people were killed during the riots on Wednesday.
A congressional police statement said that police officer Brian D. Siknick died late Thursday evening after being wounded while “dealing with protesters.”
Brian D. Sekinik had served in the Congressional Police for more than 10 years, according to CBS News reports.
The remaining three had traveled to Washington to participate in the demonstration and are believed to have died in separate “medical emergencies” at the Congress building.
Benjamin Phillips, 50, had organized the travel of a group of Pennsylvania residents to Washington the night before the demonstration and hosted some of them in his apartment.
As a computer programmer, he created a social networking site for Trump supporters.
A member of the group that went to Washington told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he tried to contact Phillips when it was time to leave but that a police officer told him Phillips was dead.
Kevin Grayson, 55, from Alabama, also attended the crowd, and his family told Al.com in a statement that he had suffered a heart attack while in Washington.
Kevin Grayson was a strong supporter of Trump and was reported to be active in Parler, a social media site called “free speech” popular with conservatives.
The Grayson family said, “He was not there to participate in violence or riots, nor did he condone such acts.”
Police also confirmed the killing of Rosan Boyland, 34, from Georgia. A statement from her brother-in-law Justin said how the family was still trying to find out the details of her death.
He said, “As we watched these horrific events unfold, we hoped that Rosan would not be among the crowd, but unfortunately she was there and it cost her her life.”
“I have never tried to be a political person, but I personally think that the president’s words sparked riots that killed 4 of his biggest fans last night,” he told local CBS.