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Attorney for Capitol officer who shot Ashli Babbitt disputes claims he didn't issue verbal warning

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 2/25/2021 Jake Dima
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The attorney for the U.S. Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 siege, said the claims that he didn't issue a verbal warning before discharging his firearm are "a false narrative."

35-year-old Babbitt, who served in the Air Force for over a dozen years, was killed as she tried to breach a door leading to the House chamber as thousands of Trump supporters clashed with law enforcement in the Capitol. Little is known about the police officer who pulled the trigger, and rumors have swirled about the circumstances surrounding the military veteran's death, one of five resulting from the violent unrest.

"It’s a false narrative that he issued no verbal commands or warnings,” the officer's lawyer, Mark Schamel, told Real Clear Investigations. "He was screaming, ‘Stay back! Stay back! Don’t come in here!’”

He added that his client's commands could not be seen on video as he was donning a face mask at the time.

FAMILY OF ASHLI ELIZABETH BABBITT, THE WOMAN FATALLY SHOT AT CAPITOL, SPEAK OUT ON HER DEATH

Footage of the incident showed Babbitt, alongside a group of rioters, breaking glass in an attempt to force entry into an area packed with House lawmakers. Police in suits and ties stood guard with their guns drawn on the other side of the door until a shot was heard and the 35-year-old fell to the ground.

Schamel likened his actions to "unbelievable heroism."

Noemi Signorile posing for the camera: This driver's license photo from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), provided to AP by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, shows Ashli Babbitt. Babbitt was fatally shot by an employee of the Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, while the rioters were moving toward the House chamber. (Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office via AP) AP © Provided by Washington Examiner This driver's license photo from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), provided to AP by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, shows Ashli Babbitt. Babbitt was fatally shot by an employee of the Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, while the rioters were moving toward the House chamber. (Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office via AP) AP

"He was acting within his training,” the lawyer said. "Lethal force is appropriate if the situation puts you or others in fear of imminent bodily harm. There should be a training video on how he handled that situation. What he did was unbelievable heroism," adding that the officer "stopped a potential massacre" by preventing the advance of the unruly demonstrators.

Investigators presiding over the incident advised that the unidentified officer should not face charges in early February after he was placed on leave shortly after the shooting per department policy. However, D.C. Police spokeswoman Alaina Gertz said, “This case remains under active investigation.”

Friends and family of Babbitt have contested the narrative that the officer's actions were heroic.

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“That was an execution,” said Jack Feeley, a fellow Air Force veteran and friend of Babbitt, who added that it “breaks my heart to know millions of people watched my friend be executed on live television.”

Babbitt's husband said, "She didn’t have any weapons on her. I don’t know why she had to die in the People’s House. She was voicing her opinion and got killed for it."

Tags: News, Capitol, Unrest, Riots, Donald Trump, Police, Law Enforcement, U.S. Capitol Police

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Attorney for Capitol officer who shot Ashli Babbitt disputes claims he didn't issue verbal warning

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