Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt will not be charged

Babbitt was shot while trying to breach the Speaker's Lobby

Rioters attempt to enter the Capitol at the House steps during a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rioters attempt to enter the Capitol at the House steps during a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted April 14, 2021 at 5:47pm

The Capitol Police officer who shot and killed a pro-Trump insurrectionist attempting to climb through a broken window to access the Speaker’s Lobby will not be criminally charged, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Ashli Babbitt, 35, was part of the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 with the hopes of stopping Congress from certifying the Electoral College victory of Joe Biden.

When Babbitt tried to climb through the opening and into the Speaker’s Lobby, near the House floor where members were attempting to flee, a Capitol Police officer fired his pistol and hit Babbitt in the left shoulder with one round. Babbitt fell back onto the floor and was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she died.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice determined the male Capitol Police officer would not face criminal charges.

“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” the Department of Justice said in a statement, adding, “Acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter.”

Five people died as a result of the violence on Jan. 6, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Days later, Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide.

Eva Malecki, a spokesperson for the Capitol Police, did not respond to a request for comment. The officer who shot Babbitt has not been identified, but the announcement by the Justice Department refers to the officer as male.