Here’s what we know about the four people who died amid the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Trump’s supporters on Wednesday after they were identified Thursday by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, a 14-year Air Force veteran from San Diego, was shot by a Capitol police officer while she was among a group of people who were trying to force their way through doors in the Capitol to a part of the building where members of Congress were taking shelter. (who has reportedly been put on leave), dying in hospital after she was carried out bloodied on a stretcher.
Benjamin Phillips, 50, a computer programmer from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, who organized a bus of Trump supporters traveling from his state to D.C. for the protest, died after suffering a stroke, and while it’s unclear when he died, the group with Phillips told The Philadelphia-Inquirer they last saw him when he went to find a parking space before Trump’s noon speech at the “Save America March.”
Kevin Greeson, 55, a resident of Athens, Alabama, also died of a heart attack at an unknown point during the unrest, with his family saying in a statement released Thursday that Greeson had a history of high blood pressure and “in the midst of the excitement, suffered a heart attack.”
Rosanne Boyland, 34, a resident of Kennesaw, Georgia, died of an unknown medical emergency during the riots, which Boyland’s family told local news outlets they were “devastated” to learn of, and were trying to find out more information about.
The D.C. police department did not immediately respond to questions from Forbes about the circumstances surrounding these deaths, including a request for information on a rumor circulating social media that one of the two men who suffered a heart attack did so after accidentally tasering himself.
Both Babbitt and Phillips were active on social media. Babbitt, who voiced ardent support for Trump, engaged frequently with accounts and hashtags related to QAnon, a discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles operating a global sex trafficking ring that Trump is actively fighting. “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!” Babbitt tweeted the day before the rally, referencing a QAnon fantasy known as “The Storm,” a time when Trump is slated to finally unmask the mythical cabal. Greeson, who from his online presence appeared to be a diehard Trump supporter, seemed to identify with the Proud Boys, a right-wing group whose members have frequently engaged in political violence. Prior to the riots, Greeson posted multiple times on Parler, a social media app popular among conservatives, and called for violence on several occasions. “Let’s take this f-cking country BACK!! Load your guns and take to the streets,” reads one post. Greeson’s family said in a statement that “he was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.”
“I really don’t know why she decided to do this,” said Babbitt’s mother-in-law Robin Babbitt in an interview with Fox 5 DC. Babbitt and her husband owned a business together in San Diego. Her husband did not come to D.C.
In addition to the four deaths among those attending the protest-turned-riot, as many as 60 Capitol Police officers were injured during the attack, according to the lawmaker in charge of appropriating funds for the agency. Many were hit in the head with metal pipes, said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and 15 have been hospitalized, with one in critical condition.
“Woman Killed At Capitol Identified As Air Force Veteran From San Diego” (Forbes)
“Capitol Police Chief Defends Handling Of Pro-Trump Riots As Top Lawmaker Warns Of Firings For ‘Embarrassing’ Response” (Forbes)