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Capitol Police says officer was justified in fatal Jan. 6 shooting, won't face internal discipline

Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 13:26:15-04

On Monday, the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said that an officer was justified in shooting a supporter of President Donald Trump as she attempted to breach a doorway near the House chamber during the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

The shooting, which took place in the Speaker's Lobby, was the only fatal shooting recorded during the Jan. 6 riots. An officer shot the woman, later identified as Ashli Babbit, as she attempted to rush through a barricaded door; she later died at a nearby hospital.

In a press release Monday, the USCP said that the "officer's conduct was lawful and within Department policy" and that the officer who fired the shots would not face internal discipline.

The press release also noted that the officer "potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away."

It also noted that if the doors were breached, "rioters would have immediate access to the House Chambers."

"The officer's actions were consistent with the officer's training and USCP policies and procedures," the USCP press release read.

The decision not to punish the officer comes months after federal prosecutors declined to file criminal charges in connection with the case.

Federal officials have declined to identify the officer who fired the fatal shots throughout its internal investigation, noting that the "officer and the officer's family have been the subject of numerous credible and specific threats."

Babbit, an Air Force veteran, flew to Washington in January to take part in a "Save America" rally held by former President Donald Trump. Following the rally, Trump's supporters rushed the Capitol while Congress certified the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"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!" Babbit tweeted the day before the rally.

Babbit was one of five people who died near the Capitol during the riots on Jan. 6. All others suffered medical emergencies.