SAN DIEGO – Like President Donald Trump, the San Diego woman fatally shot by police as a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol had used Twitter to amplify her views, including false allegations that November's election was riddled with fraud.
“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!” Ashli Babbitt wrote a day before she and thousands of other Trump supporters took part in the siege in Washington, D.C., to try to keep the president in power.
Bystander video showed Babbitt, 35, was trying to climb through the broken window of a barricaded doorway inside the Capitol when the officer fired.
On social media, Babbitt often ranted against the president's frequent targets – illegal immigration, government mandates to contain the coronavirus and, most of all, Trump's critics.
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who identified as a Libertarian and supporter of the Second Amendment, frequently posted unsubstantiated views about election fraud by the president and his most extreme supporters – activists whose conspiracy theories and unflinching support for Trump have attracted large online followings.
Babbitt appeared to view pleas to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as an affront to her personal freedoms. She backed a recall drive against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has imposed strict stay-at-home orders.
“Mask Free Autonomous Zone Better Known as America,” read a large sign on the front door of a pool service business she ran with her husband in Spring Valley, near San Diego.
The Air Force said Ashli Elizabeth McEntee was on active duty from 2004 to 2008, most recently at Dyes Air Force Base near Abilene, Texas.
“She loved her country and she was doing what she thought was right to support her country, joining up with like-minded people that also love their president and their country,” Babbitt's husband, Aaron Babbitt, told KSWB-TV, a Fox affiliate in San Diego. “She was voicing her opinion and she got killed for it.”
Babbitt's ex-husband, Timothy McEntee, called her a “wonderful woman with a big heart and a strong mind” in an email to The San Diego Union-Tribune.