The woman who died after being shot by law enforcement during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has been identified as Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force Veteran and QAnon adherent from San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood.
Babbitt’s husband, Aaron Babbitt, first confirmed her identity to KOSI News, saying she was a strong Trump supporter who had served 14 years in the Air Force, including deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Air Force, and in Kuwait and Qatar with the National Guard.
In an email, Babbitt’s ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, described her as “a wonderful woman with a big heart and a strong mind” who was “very loud and opinionated, but caring, sweet, thoughtful, loving,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “You would never forget meeting her.”
McEntee continued, “I am in a state of shock and feel absolutely terrible for her family. She loved America with all her heart. It’s truly a sad day.”
McEntee also said he thought he recognized Babbitt from a photo on the news but wasn’t sure at first. “[I ]immediately knew it was her but was unaware she was in town so I initially had doubts because she lives in California. But [I] reached out to a friend and he said she was in town for the rally.”
A family member told the Union-Tribune that they could not confirm Babbitt’s death with authorities in Washington D.C., saying, “No one has contacted us. No official person has gotten back to us despite the many phone calls.”
Babbitt’s mother-in-law, Robin Babbitt, told the New York Post, “I’m numb. I’m devastated. Nobody from DC notified my son and we found out on TV.”
Aaron’s brother, Justin, called the situation “pretty surreal,” and added that the family is still waiting for authorities to confirm the worst. “It’s hard, because we haven’t been officially notified,” he said.
D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee announced late Wednesday night that a woman had been shot by Capitol Police, but did not release her name. Three other people died in the Wednesday riots from what Contee described only as “medical emergencies.”
Babbitt—who owned a pool supply company with her husband—tweeted her enthusiasm for the pro-Trump riot the day before she was shot, writing, “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.”
Although Robin Babbitt knew her daughter-in-law was a passionate Trump supporter, she told a Fox reporter, “I really don’t know why she decided to do this.”