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The chaotic moments inside the US Capitol just before a police officer shot and killed a California woman during the riot earlier this month are detailed in a recently unsealed criminal complaint against a Texas man who attended the siege.
In the complaint, federal authorities write suspect Christopher Grider was with the mob of Donald Trump supporters on Jan. 6 as they approached the Speaker’s Lobby from the rotunda of the Capitol building.
Grider was captured on video holding up a black helmet, near a man who was wearing a fur-lined hat and attempting to break a window that separated the mob from the House chambers, according to the complaint.
Grider handed the man the helmet, who then used it to smash the glass, the complaint states.
Soon after, 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from San Diego, tried to jump through the glass and was shot to death by a Capitol Police officer, the complaint states.
“Grider remained and could be seen minutes after the shooting leaning over the railing to get a better glimpse of Babbitt bleeding on the floor. Grider was holding his phone over the stairway appearing to capture a video or pictures of Babbitt,” the complaint states.
Grider was indicted by federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., Wednesday and now faces a slew of charges for his alleged role in the riot, including destruction of government property, aiding and abetting, entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct in a restricted building.
He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Texas Wednesday afternoon.
On the evening of Jan. 6, Grider spoke to a local Texas television station and said the mob of Trump supporters in the Capitol were stunned when Babbitt was killed.
“They were shocked as everyone else was when the people on the other
side of the door, from 20 feet away, shot her in the chest,” he said in the interview.
“At that point we were all panicked, we couldn’t leave because there were thousands of people behind us pushing us forward,” he added.
Grider traveled to DC because President Trump had asked his supporters to show up to the rally, he told the new reporter.
“The president asked people to come and show their support I feel like it’s the least that we can do, it’s kind of why I came from central Texas all the way to DC,” he said.
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