DOJ drops probe into officer who shot Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt

Officials said there is "insufficient evidence" to charge the officer.

April 14, 2021, 3:48 PM

The Justice Department has closed its investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year-old Trump supporter shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6 riot, the agency announced in a press release Wednesday.

In a release explaining the decision to close the probe, the department said officials determined "there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution" of the officer who shot Babbitt.

"Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber," the release said.

PHOTO: Ashli Babbitt in a driver's license photo from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
Ashli Babbitt in a driver's license photo from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
Maryland MVA/Calvert County Sheriff via AP

The investigation determined Babbit was part of a group of rioters trying to break through barricaded entrances near the Speaker's Lobby that leads to the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives, from which members of Congress were being evacuated, according to the release.

"As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out," the release said. "An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder, causing her to fall back from the doorway and onto the floor."

The Justice Department acknowledged "tragic loss of life" and offered condolences but determined to close the probe.

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