- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2021

The U.S. Capitol Police officer who fired the fatal bullet that killed Ashli Babbit during Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol Building was placed on administrative leave, the department said Thursday.

The officer, who has not been identified, will have their police powers suspended while awaiting the outcome of a joint investigation between the Capitol Police and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Babbit, 35, was fatally shot in the neck outside the House chamber during the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob angry over his loss in the November election.

A 14-year veteran of the Air Force, Babbit completed four foreign military tours, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her husband told a San Diego news station that she was a passionate supporter of President Trump.

Three other people died from “medical emergencies” during Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol, acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III said.

Chief Contee identified the three individuals as: Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; and Roseanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia.

The police chief didn’t provide any additional information about the individuals, who died on and around the Capitol grounds.

Calls for Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to be fired have grown after the agency failed to secure the premises, allowing rioters to breach the building. Both members of Congress and ex-law enforcement officials have blasted Chief Sund for failing to be better prepared.

Chief Sund said the agency is conducting a thorough review of the incident, including security planning, policies and procedures.

“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike I ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C. — has long been a challenge,” he said in a statement.

“The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake — these were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior,” he continued, describing the Capitol Police officers as “heroic.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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