The woman who was fatally shot while allegedly trying to break into the House chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday has been identified as a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego.
Ashli Babbitt was a fervent Trump supporter and also, apparently, a believer in the convoluted QAnon conspiracy, as the Washington Post reports. She had flown to Washington from California without her new husband in order to attend Trump's rally and whatever "stop the steal" marching was going to happen, and to save America from the Democratic pedophile cabal, or whatever.
On Twitter, she was a fast-talking Libertarian cheerleader who was passionate about border security — in the video seen below from December 2018 she can be heard talking about how she lives "15 minutes from the Tijuana border" so she "knows what's happening" on the ground, and she supported building Trump's border wall.
@RealDark_Kent I want to protect, defend, build, enrich, inspire and unite with all Americans! We the ppl want results, progress, truth, encourage orderly immigration and reform—BUILD THE WALL-fix the system-defend America- MSM report facts not agenda 🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/oYVQ8nGFF7— CommonAshSense (@Ashli_Babbitt) December 15, 2018
In another video from November 2018, she films herself driving and yelling angrily about Kamala Harris and other Democrats who won't "choose America over your stupid political party," and who suggest that there are massive protests against Trump's border wall.
Babbitt's ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, tells the Post that "She was never afraid to speak her mind" and attending the event in Washington "was her way of speaking her mind."
Babbitt's mother-in-law, meanwhile, tells Fox affiliate WTTG that her son didn't accompany Babbitt to D.C. and "I really don’t know why she decided to do this."
Aaron Babbitt, Ashli's husband, tells San Diego station KUSI that she served 14 years in the Air Force, did four tours, and was a "high level security official" through much of her military service.
In the photo seen below from a September 2020 Trump boat parade in San Diego, Babbitt is wearing a tank top that says "We Are Q." She retweeted a great many conspiracy-laden tweets, many connected to the QAnon stuff — and she was also apparently an anti-masker, and retweeted threads like this, about an anti-masker protest at a mall where someone was carrying a "COVID is a CON JOB" sign.
The circumstances of Babbitt's death remain under investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Early reports suggested she was seen draped in a flag and attempting to climb onto a ledge to gain access to a room — possibly the House chamber. House members have reported hearing one shot fired while they were taking cover inside, and as members of the mob were attempting to break in — while Capitol police were barricading the door with furniture and with guns drawn as some glass in the door was broken.
Another rioter who figured prominently in the media coverage thanks to appearing in several wire images, a shirtless man with red, white, and blue face paint and a furry horned helmet, has been identified as a QAnon zealot from Arizona named Jake Angeli.
The 32-year-old sometime actor is a "familiar face" at Trump rallies, according to Nexstar Media, and is known by the nickname "QAnon Shaman."
As the Arizona Republic reports, "Since at least 2019, Angeli has held forth outside the Arizona Capitol shouting about various conspiracy theories, most related to the wide-ranging beliefs espoused by QAnon."
Below, you can see him doing just that, and he gives an interview to a reporter in which he attacks the media, and says of members of the media that they "could not handle even a percentage of the amount of scrutiny and the allegations that are being leveled at [Trump] from so many levels."
Here’s part of my interview with Jake Angeli, the 32-year old man I previously posted about, who thanked the president @realDonaldTrump and Q.— BrieAnna J. Frank 🌵 (@brieannafrank) May 5, 2020
He applauded the work of the president and criticized that of the press. @azcentral pic.twitter.com/PbQFGhNCq6
As SFist has reported previously, the QAnon conspiracy mess — a bizarre and often confusing narrative about an intelligence operative named Q who for several years has been dropping clues for eager followers about how and when Donald Trump was going to save democracy from the liberal pedophile cabal of Pizzagate fame — grew in the last year out of the shadowy realm of message boards like 4chan and 8chan and into the mainstream via Facebook Groups and Twitter. Thus you had many thousands or even millions of Americans like Babbitt and Angeli starting to buy into the intrigue and participate in what's become a potent source of Trump support, however insane.
And Babbitt and Angeli are just two of the thousands who showed up in D.C. on their own dime this week, believing everything Trump has said about the Democrats "stealing" the election, and believing despite all evidence — and media reports — to the contrary, that the unseen dealings of conspiracists or shady Democrats are at work and it's their job as "informed" patriots to save the country.
The events at the Capitol will, no doubt, prove pivotal in ongoing government efforts to regulate social media. And, sadly, this probably won't be the last stand for the QAnon folks.