Central Texas man witnessed deadly shooting as Trump supporters stormed US Capitol

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 7:11 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (KWTX) - A Waco-area business owner witnessed a shooting Wednesday inside the U.S. Capitol that left a woman dead.

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating.

Chris Grider says the woman, who was later identified as Ashli Babbitt, a U.S. Air Force veteran from the San Diego area, was struck by a shot fired through a glass door on the second floor of the building as protesters were forcing their way into the Speaker’s chambers.

“I was next to this door next to the Speaker’s chambers,” he said.

“They busted the glass to get through where the furniture had been barricaded on the other side, and there was a girl that was trying to look through the window, or climb through it, and they shot her with live ammunition from about 20 feet away,” Grider said.

He said two police officers were standing right by the young woman when she was hit.

“They were as shocked as everyone else was when the people on the other side of the door, from 20 feet away, shot her in the chest, said Grider. “It was a real tense moment.”

“At that point, we were all panicked, we couldn’t leave because there were thousands of people behind us pushing us forward.”

Grider, a Trump supporter from Chilton, says he went to Washington, D.C. to take part in the rally to support Mr. Trump’s claims of election fraud.

“Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t, but what troubles me is the ‘nothing to see here’ attitude,” said Grider. “The President asked people to come and show their support, I feel like it’s the least that we could do, it’s kind of why I came from Central Texas and went all the way to D.C., he’s done a lot for the country and he asked this and I figured that’s something that I could do, so that’s why I went and showed up and showed support.”

He joined tens of thousands of others at the Capitol Wednesday who felt the same way, however, he didn’t anticipate the demonstration would turn violent.

“The Capitol Police started pepper-spraying people and they were firing rubber bullets, and then after that started, that’s when people started pushing to get into the Capitol building to be heard,” said Grider.

Grider said reports of vandalism were exaggerated and there were many protesters, like himself, who were protecting monuments and art from the crowds.

Grider said Wednesday evening, the situation had calmed down.

“Right now it’s pretty calm,” he said

“The president asked people to leave and be peaceful, and everything calmed down,” he said.

Grider said people seemed to be abiding by the city’s 6 p.m. curfew, but there were so many in the crowd, it was taking a while to clear everyone out.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the mob that stormed the building wielded metal pipes, chemical irritants and other weapons against law enforcement.

The rioters “actively attacked” police officers and “were determined to enter into the Capitol building by causing great damage., he said in a statement.

The Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Babbitt was placed on administrative leave.

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