by WorldTribune Staff, August 6, 2021
An attorney for the family of Ashli Babbitt said the police officer who fatally shot the 35-year-old Air Force veteran on Jan. 6 failed to warn her before firing.
“It’s not debatable,” attorney Terry Roberts said in an interview with RealClearInvestigations. “There was no warning. … I would call what he did an ambush.”
If Babbitt was not given an opportunity to obey commands before she was shot, it could figure prominently in the family’s planned wrongful-death suit against the officer, RealClearInvestigations noted.
Roberts said he has interviewed several witnesses who were standing outside the Speaker’s Lobby with Babbitt who will testify they did not hear the officer issue “any kind of warning.”
The Justice Department said in April that it would not pursue charges against the officer, who the department would not name, because there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution.
The decision came about a week after the medical examiner’s office said Babbitt died of a gunshot wound to her shoulder, and that her death had been ruled a “homicide” because it was the result of “intentional harm of one person by another.”
Several sources have identified the shooter as Lt. Michael L. Byrd, a 53-year-old veteran of the force who was serving as commander of the House Chamber Section of the Capitol Police on Jan. 6. He has not returned to duty and remains on paid administrative leave.
Mark Schamel, the lawyer for the officer who allegedly shot Babbitt, says his client issued verbal commands and warnings to her.
“He was screaming, ‘Stay back! Stay back! Don’t come in here!” said Schamel, who also says he has witness statements supporting his account, RealClearInvestigations also reports.