The husband of the woman shot dead during the riots in the U.S. Capitol has spoken of his grief at his loss as his family seeks to take legal action against the Capitol Police and the officer who pulled the trigger.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, was among five people who lost their lives in connection with the events on January 6 when armed insurrectionists stormed into the Capitol building to stop lawmakers from certifying the results of the presidential election.
Babbitt, a U.S. Air Force Gulf War veteran from San Diego, was killed by an officer who fired a single shot from inside the Speaker’s Lobby as she climbed through a broken window in the building. She later died from her injuries.
Her husband, Aaron Babbitt, told Fox 5 that he did not think the officer should have taken aim so quickly at his wife, who was not armed.
“She gets up in that doorway and she looks over and this guy has a gun in her face and he’s telling her to stop or I’m going to shoot,” he told the San Diego news outlet.
“I 110 percent guarantee you she’s going to say this use-of-force continuum has started and I need to get out because this guy is serious, but there was no warning. She didn’t see him,” he added.
Terrell Roberts, an attorney for the Babbitt family, told CNBC it would seek to file a $10 million civil lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police and the unnamed officer who fired the gun.
The lawsuit follows a decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C not to charge the officer after it said on April 14 there was “no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully” committed an unlawful act.
Babbitt told the Fox 5 he had tried to convince his wife not to go to the Capitol to dispute the result of last November’s election.
Trump was accused of provoking the violence with his unsubstantiated claims that the election he lost to President Joe Biden was rigged. He faced an impeachment trial on a charge that he incited the insurrection, for which he was acquitted.
“What I saw that day is burned into my brain forever. I identified my wife by turning on the TV and seeing her lay there without anybody telling me what had happened,” Babbitt said.
A Twitter account called Justice for Ashli Babbitt has been set up to follow developments which as of Saturday morning, had more than 6,700 followers.
One tweet post of Friday said: “There is not a police department in this country where this shooting would be seen as a justified use of force, NOT ONE. Not even Congress itself can say this was justified.”
Newsweek has contacted the US Capitol police for comment.