The Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot has been formally exonerated after an internal investigation found the shooting was justified.
NBC News reported the development after obtaining a memo from the Capitol Police.
The officer has not been named.
During the 6 January riot, the officer fired on Ms Babbitt while she and other Trump supporters tried to force their way into the internal chambers of the US Capitol, where lawmakers were still being evacuated.
In April, the Justice Department announced that no charges were being brought against the officer. The conclusion of the Capitol Police’s internal investigation ends the official inquiries into the shooting.
Video shot during the riot captured the moment Ms Babbitt was shot. In the footage, Ms Babbitt – cloaked in a Trump flag – can be seen attempting to climb through a broken window into an interior chamber of the Capitol. When she’s about midway through the window, and officer can be seen leveling their pistol on Ms Babbitt. A moment later a shot rings out and Ms Babbitt falls backward onto the Capitol floor.
Ms Babbitt was declared dead at a hospital a short time after the shooting.
Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin witnessed the shooting, and said the officer “didn’t have a choice,” and claimed that the officer “saved people’s lives.”
Witness accounts from immediately before the incident report that protesters were shouting “F*** the Blue” and were rallying to push through into the Capitol’s interior.
Capitol Police officers claim that some of the protesters were carrying concealed weapons on the day of the riot, but a search of Ms Babbitt after the shooting found that she was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Ms Babbitt, who was a believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory, tweeted the day before the riot that “the storm is here,” referencing a prophecy that Donald Trump, his allies and the military would round up his enemies and members of the “Deep State,” after which they would be tried and executed or imprisoned.
After the shooting, right-wing extremists have hailed Ms Babbitt as a martyr and have demanded that the name of the officer who shot her be released.