Woman shot dead in US Capitol was Air Force veteran, Trump supporter: Reports

Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest in front of the Capitol in Washington on Jan 6, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
Police officers stand guard after a protest outside of the US Capitol in Washington on Jan 6, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The woman who was fatally shot as Mr Donald Trump's backers stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday (Jan 6) was Ms Ashli Babbitt, a "strong supporter" of the president who had served in the United States Air Force, according to press reports.

Violence erupted in the normally solemn home of the US legislature after hundreds of protesters seeking to overturn Mr Trump's election loss swarmed the building in Washington.

"The woman is Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year veteran, who served four tours with the US Air Force," San Diego TV station KUSI reported, citing the woman's husband.

"She was a strong supporter of President Trump," the report added, saying the woman was from the San Diego area in southern California.

Authorities said the woman died of a bullet wound after being shot amid chaotic and violent scenes inside the Capitol building, where some security personnel drew their guns as protesters advanced.

TV channel Fox 5 reported Ms Babbitt owned a business in San Diego with her husband, who did not go to Washington with her.

"I really don't know why she decided to do this," her mother-in-law reportedly told the station.

Ms Babbitt identified herself as a veteran on her Twitter account and noted her love for the US.

She had recently retweeted messages in support of Mr Trump and from those coming to Washington for Wednesday's rally.

"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!", she wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

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