Killed in Capitol Riot: War Vets, a QAnon Follower, Motorcyclist
(Bloomberg) -- One was a war veteran who wanted to be a cop his entire life. Another was a woman disenchanted with the nation’s political system whose social media posts offered a steady stream of QAnon conspiracies. A third sold Trump-themed stuffed animals at rallies.
They are among the five people who died Wednesday when thousands of pro-Trump supporters forced their way into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, smashing windows and ransacking offices.
As of Friday, 13 people had been charged in federal court and another 40 or so had been charged in Superior Court with offenses including unlawful entry, curfew violations, and firearms-related crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Here’s what we know about the victims.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of unspecified injuries suffered while “physically engaging with protesters” during the melee, according to a statement from the department. After the confrontation, Sicknick collapsed in his division office and died from his injuries the next day at a local hospital.
Sicknick is the first Capitol Police officer to die in the line of duty since 1998. Then, Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson were shot by an intruder who opened fire in the U.S. Capitol. The shooting was later cited in the push to develop the underground Capitol Visitor Center used to process visitors at security checkpoints further from the main building.
Sicknick, 42, “wanted to be a police officer his entire life,” and joined the Capitol police force in 2008, brother Ken Sicknick, said in a statement. Brian Sicknick, a member of the New Jersey Air National Guard, served in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Desert Shield, his brother said.
“Many details regarding Wednesday’s events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” Ken Sicknick said. “Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember.”
The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the death.
Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed after trying to force her way into the House Chamber where lawmakers were sheltering, according to a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police.
Video footage shows Babbitt with an American flag tied around her neck, being shot as she climbs through the broken window of a door to the Speaker’s Lobby, which leads to the House floor.
“You guys refuse, refuse to choose America over your stupid political party, I am so tired of it,” Babbitt said in an 2018 video addressing politicians in her home state of California posted on Twitter. “What we do have is a massive amount of pissed off people like I am because you guys will not sit down and do your job.”
“I can’t take it anymore,” she said. “I’m putting all of you all notice.”
Babbitt was a California native and Air Force Veteran who served in two wars. Her social media feed included a flow of messages that over the past year celebrated Donald Trump, QAnon conspiracy theories, and anti-immigration tirades, according to the New York Times.
Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama, was an avid motorcycle rider who had a history of high blood pressure and died of a heart attack outside the Capitol during the melee.
“Kevin was an advocate of President Trump and attended the event on Jan. 6 to show his support. He was excited to be there to experience this event,” according to the statement quoted in The News Courier in Athens. “He was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.”
Greeson suffered a fatal heart attack “in the midst of the excitement,” the family wrote. “Our family is devastated.”
His wife told the New York Times that he was the father of five.
Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania, died of a stroke after organizing a bus trip from Pennsylvania to Washington to attend the “Save America” rally, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Phillips, a computer programmer, had a side business selling stuffed animals at Trump rallies, including a kangaroo dressed as Trump that he called Trumparoo. He also created a social media website with the same name to connect Trump supporters, according to WNEP TV in Moosic, Pennsylvania.
“I took a bus from Harrisburg to DC with Trump supporter and trip organizer Ben Phillips yesterday,” Julia Terruso, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, tweeted on Thursday. “As he drove down, he told me: ‘It seems like the first day of the rest of our lives.’ He died in DC yesterday.”
Rosanne Boyland, 34, was trampled to death as the mob stormed toward the Capitol building, according to a companion.
“I put my arm underneath her and was pulling her out and then another guy fell on top of her, and another guy was just walking [on top of her],” her friend Justin Winchell, who drove with Boyland to DC, told CBS46. “There were people just crushed.”
Paramedics tried reviving Boyland, of Kennesaw, Georgia, but were unsuccessful.
She had earlier been photographed wearing red, white and blue sunglasses, was carrying a “Save America” sign, and had the so-called Gadsden flag -- it depicts a coiled rattlesnake and carries the words “Don’t Tread on Me” -- draped over her shoulders.
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