The Air Force veteran killed during the storming of the Capitol was shot as she began to climb through the broken part of a door leading into an area known as the Speaker's Lobby, videos posted online show. Minutes before the shooting Wednesday, the AP reports, the large crowd of angry pro-Trump loyalists, one carrying an American flag, taunted several police officers whose backs were to the barricaded doors. Members of the mob sought to force their way into the long corridor, which is just outside the House chamber where members of Congress were supposed to be meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. One man punched the glass over the shoulder of an officer, cracking it. Others shouted profanities at the police and at the members of Congress who can be seen through the glass.
Then, in one of the videos, the officers who'd been guarding the doors are seen moving away from the entry. As an unidentified person yells, “Go, bust it down,” Ashli Babbitt, 35, steps up and begins to go through the waist-high opening when a gunshot is heard. She falls backward. Another video shows other unidentified people attempting to lift Babbitt up. She slumps back to the ground. Video clips underscore the hostility and confusion just before Babbitt's death—and a lack of communication between the officers, says Mark Lomax, who was executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association. “There were police on the protesters side, engaged and embedded with these individuals,” he tells the AP. “It did not seem like a threatening situation for the officers." But the officer on the other side of the door who shot must have perceived a threat, he says.
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