By Jordan Flores.
The Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department confirmed this Thursday, January 7, that the number of deaths from the assault committed the day before by Donald Trump supporters against the US Capitol rose to four.
Three of the fatal victims never entered the Capitol, and their causes of death have yet to be determined, while the fourth victim was shot in the neck and killed by Capitol police.
Police Chief Robert Contee III confirmed that a woman was shot dead by a security guard inside the building. Another woman and two men lost their lives in different events that have not been clarified, classified as “medical emergencies.”
All of the victims were reportedly supporters of outgoing President Trump, who a few days earlier had encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol to oppose the certification of Democrat Joe Biden as the new president, arguing an electoral fraud.
Contee revealed the names, ages, and cities of origin of the dead, although he avoided giving more details because the police investigations were still underway. However, local media provided additional details mostly of its, gleaned from social media accounts.
She was the first known victim of the assault, and the video of her death ran across social networks as it showed her being shot inside the Capitol by one of the security guards trying to repel the protesters.
In the video, you can see Babbitt, along with others, climbing up a flight of stairs and trying to break down one of the doors leading to the chamber where the congressmen were taking shelter. At that moment, a guard behind an improvised barricade open fired and the woman was severely injured in the neck. She was helped by demonstrators and police, who took her to a nearby hospital, where she was declared dead upon arrival.
Babbitt, 35, lived in San Diego, California, and was a 14-year veteran of the Air Force. Her widower, Timothy McEntee, said the veteran had been in Iraq and Afghanistan, also serving the National Guard in Kuwait and Qatar. After retiring from the military, she opened a pool-cleaning business with her husband.
“She was a great patriot, very loud and firm in her opinions, but she was also full of love and very loving,” McEntee told The Washington Post.
An avid follower of Donald Trump, she spent hours sharing her messages and defending him on social networks. “Nothing will stop us. You can try, but the storm is here and will descend on Washington DC in less than 24 hours. From darkness to light,” was the last tweet posted on her profile, @Ashli_Babbit.
In her social networks, Babbit showed herself as a follower of the QAnon movement, a popular conspiracy theory among conservatives that assures that there is a “deep state” behind the power in the US, integrated by political elites, millionaires, and media owners who practice satanic and pedophilic rituals. His believers claim that Trump is a hero who fights against these elites, that is why politicians robbed him of the presidency in the election.
The QAnon was one of the groups that actively participated in the assault on the Capitol. One of its most prominent members is amateur thespian Jake Angeli, known as “QAnon Shaman,” who captured the attention on the Internet and featured several memes with his trademark buffalo costume that evokes the garments of a Native American.
According to the Washington Police Department, one of the three people killed after the riots were Ben Philips, 50, a native of Pennsylvania. Reports so far do not specify the cause of his death, described as a medical emergency.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer news website, Philips was a native Bloomsburg, PA, computer programmer, and a staunch supporter of outgoing President Trump. As expressions of support, he created a website where other Republicans could exchange information and coordinate demonstrations.
Convinced of Trump’s version of alleged fraud in Pennsylvania, Philips organized a dozen supporters and drove a bus to Washington, where he lost his life outside the Congress building. So far, there is no evidence that he was among the group of protesters who entered the building.
In a statement released by The News Courier, family members said Greeson, 55, died of a heart attack, and he already had a history of high blood pressure. They described him as “a wonderful father and husband,” as well as a lover of motorcycles and dogs.
However, according to local media Al, Greeson was very active in the Parler site, a conservative forum created in 2018 by Trump supporters in favor of gun ownership and the far-right group The Proud Boys.
Another victim of the Capitol assault was Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia, a suburban community in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
A paramedic report released by 11Alive news channel said she was treated by police outside the Capitol. Officials tried to save her with CPR and took her to the hospital, where she died an hour later.
Sisters of Roseanne described her as a “happy and wonderful” young woman, while her brother-in-law, Justin Cave, described her as a very compassionate woman who put the needs of others before her own.
“Roseanne was truly passionate about her beliefs like many people, but she never tried to be a political person. I think the words of the president incited a riot that killed four of his biggest fans last night, and I think we should invoke the 25th Amendment at this point,” Cave told 11Alive.