WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The U.S. Department of Justice has announced they will not pursue criminal charges against the U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, who was killed during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
Multiple agencies conducted a thorough investigation of Babbitt’s shooting in which officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting and the results of an autopsy. Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.
On Jan. 6, Babbitt joined a crowd of people that gathered on the U.S. Capitol grounds to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Ashli Babbit (Family Photo: Facebook)
Members of the crowd outside the building, which was closed to the public during the Joint Session, eventually forced their way into the Capitol building and past U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers attempting to maintain order.
The investigation further determined that Babbitt was among a mob of people that entered the Capitol building and gained access to a hallway outside "Speaker’s Lobby," which leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.
As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors of the Capitol building, Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out. An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor.
A USCP emergency response team administered aid to Babbitt, who was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she later died.
The focus of the criminal investigation was to determine whether federal prosecutors could prove that the officer violated any federal laws. The investigation revealed no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully committed a violation.
Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter.