In an almost entirely predictable move, supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory are already trying to claim the woman killed by police during Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol is still alive following the “false flag” shooting.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, has been identified as the victim of the officer-involved shooting as followers of the radial conspiracy theory, Donald Trump supporters and far-right extremists stormed Congress in what lawmakers said amounted to an attempted coup.
Video of the moment Babbitt was shot by U.S. Capitol Police (USPC) as the violent mob tried to disrupt the democratic process and overturn the election result in favor of Trump has been widely shared online since.
A Twitter profile believed to belong to Babbitt appears to show that she is also a follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory. One day before Babbitt was killed, she tweeted “the storm is here,” a common phrase used by the radical movement listed as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI movement.
The @Ashli_Babbitt account also retweeted a number of QAnon profiles and phrases associated with the conspiracy in the days prior to the attack on Congress.
Soon after her death, fellow advocates of the QAnon movement that Babbitt aligned herself with are now sharing conspiracy theories that she is still alive.
One of the more high-profile QAnon supporters who is helping spread the lie is Lin Wood, the Trump supporting attorney and conspiracy theorist who previously attempted to overturn election results with the widely disputed “Kraken” lawsuits.
On social media site Parler, Wood originally claimed that a tweet of his which had been retweeted by the Ashli_Babbitt account may have been “conveniently photoshopped” to link her to Wood and the QAnon movement.
Shortly after that, Wood went all in and shared a link to a QAnon blog post which claimed Babbitt is still alive as the officer’s gun which fired at the 35-year-old was not directly aiming at her.
“Ashli is NOT dead.. you can’t die of a gun shot wound if the gun wasn’t pointed at you when fired,” the blog post reads.
“So you got fooled, suckered, played. Don’t feel bad Sheeple, the DeepState has been doing this for years… but honestly this one was poorly acted and executed.”
Wood has been posting similar messages and conspiracy theories on Parler, a “free speech” social media site beloved by the far-right whose accounts have been removed on other platforms.
One recent conspiracy was a baseless claim that Mike Pence and “leaders of coup are planning to arrest & execute” Trump.
Before his Twitter account was deleted following the attack on the Capitol, Wood suggested to his 1.1 million followers that it was Antifa who were behind the violence on Wednesday, a suggestion also posed by several right-wing media personalities.
Wood also repeated that claim on Parler on Thursday. “Did President Trump order Antifa to storm the Capital yesterday??? Sure did sound like it listening to the anti-Trump members of Congress last night,” he wrote.
Elsewhere, the family of Babbitt have paid tribute to the U.S. Air Force veteran following her death while protesting the election result.
“Ashli was both loyal as well as extremely passionate about what she believed in. She loved this country and felt honored to have served in our Armed Forces. Please keep her family in your thoughts and respect their privacy during this time,” her brother-in-law Justin Jackson told NBC 7.
The USCP officer who fired at Babbitt has been placed on administrative leave as protocol pending the outcome of a joint Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and USCP investigation.