The woman fatally shot inside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday has been identified as Ashli Babbitt, a friend confirms to Fox News. Babbitt was a 14-year veteran who served four tours with the Air Force and resided in San Diego, according to media reports.
Babbitt was a strong supporter of President Trump, her husband told WTTG-TV. Messages to him from Fox News were not returned.
“I really don’t know why she decided to do this,” Babbitt’s mother-in-law told the local Fox affiliate in D.C.
Babbitt’s husband was not in D.C with her. The couple owned a business together, according to reports.
Authorities were in riot gear protecting the Capitol as the media and lawmakers returned to resume a joint session of Congress halted hours earlier when a mob breached security and stormed the building, resulting in the fatal shooting.
Early reports said a woman was shot in the chest and transported from the building just before 3 p.m., the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department told Fox News. It was not clear who fired the shot or what led to the shooting, reports Fox News.
A police spokeswoman did not disclose the woman’s identity.
Agents with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service and the Capitol Police were stationed throughout the Capitol to prevent any more disruptions that marred Wednesday’s planned review of electoral votes.
Vice President Mike Pence returned to the Senate and to oversee the session. A spokesman said he never left the Capitol and was in regular contact with authorities amid efforts to secure the building.
The violence erupted as lawmakers were in the process of certifying the Electoral College votes won by President-elect Joe Biden. They were told to put on gas masks and barricade inside as law enforcement officers tried to restore order amid the chaos.
Protesters reportedly smashed glass doors and authorities drew their weapons to protect the building. The certification was stopped after Congress recessed as the chaos escalated outside and inside the Capitol building.
Pence, who broke with Trump and refused to reject the electoral votes and send them back to the states, was ushered out of the chamber.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News that he heard from police that shots were fired in the building.
“This is not the direction we should go,” McCarthy said, while urging Trump to make a statement.
Around the Capitol, three suspicious devices with pipe components and wires were found, Fox News learned. It was unclear if the items were explosives.
In a tweet, Trump urged his supporters to “remain peaceful!” as they stormed the Capitol and attacked police officers.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful,” he wrote. “No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
In a subsequent video, he told them to go home while still pushing debunked claims of widespread election fraud. Twitter later removed three of his tweets, including the video, and locked his account for 12 hours.
In a separate address, Biden called Wednesday’s unrest “an assault on our Republic, an assault on the rule of the law…of the most sacred of American undertakings — the doing of the people’s business,”
“This is not dissent, it’s disorder, it’s chaos, it borders on sedition and it must end now,” he added.
In response to the violence, the Pentagon said the National Guard was mobilized to assist federal law enforcement officers.
“The D.C. Guard has been mobilized to provide support to federal law enforcement in the District,” said Jonathan Hoffman, chief Pentagon spokesman. “The law enforcement response will be led by the Department of Justice.”
The Virginia National Guard and FBI also will deploy to Washington. Details on the number of personnel and operations were unavailable. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told Fox News that agents also went to the Capitol to secure the building.
The Cannon House Office Building and Madison Library of Congress Building were briefly evacuated after several suspicious packages were reportedly found in the area, a congressional source told Fox News.
U.S. Capitol Police were asking personnel to relocate from Cannon and to “shelter in place” at the Rayburn and Longworth House Office Buildings.