WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police announced on Monday that they had cleared a lieutenant who fatally shot a rioter inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, after an extensive investigation found that he acted lawfully and potentially saved lawmakers and aides from serious harm or death.
The department’s decision to formally close the case followed a determination in April by the Justice Department that charges against the officer were not warranted in the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, on Jan. 6. Ms. Babbitt was among a throng of Trump supporters that began smashing its way through the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby, a hallway just off the House floor, while officers were evacuating lawmakers from the chamber.
According to video of the encounter, as people in the mob shattered the lobby’s glass doors, Ms. Babbitt tried to climb through a hole in the glass and a police lieutenant on the other side fired a single shot, hitting her in the left shoulder. After being taken to a hospital, she died.
“The actions of the officer in this case potentially saved members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters,” the Capitol Police said Monday, noting lawmakers were just “steps away.”
The police officer who shot and killed Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt will reveal his identity in a Lester Holt interview
The Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol will reveal his identity in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt airing Thursday.
“Speaking out and revealing his identity publicly for the first time, the officer will share his perspective on the events of that day, including the aftermath of the deadly insurrection and the threats he has received,” NBC News said in a press release announcing the upcoming interview.
The interview with air Thursday on “NBC Nightly News,” which is anchored by Holt. Other portions of the officer’s interview will air on other NBC News platforms, including on “TODAY” and on MSNBC.
Babbitt, and Air Force veteran who was the only rioter killed by police on January 6, when the officer shot Babbitt as she sought to climb through a shattered window and enter the Speaker’s Lobby. Lawmakers were fleeing from the building just steps away.