Pa. resident among the dead after violence at the Capitol; National Guard heads to Washington

By: - January 7, 2021 2:00 pm

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Protesters enter the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(*This story was updated 2:35 p.m. on 1/7/21 to include additional reporting from the Philadelphia Inquirer)

WASHINGTON — A Pennsylvania resident is among four people who died after a violent mob seeking to overturn the election forced its way into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

United States Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund confirmed reports that a Capitol Police officer shot and killed one of the rioters, Ashli Babbitt, who has been identified in media reports as a San Diego resident. The shooting occurred just outside the House chamber, as the mob sought to force its way inside, where lawmakers were sheltering.

That officer is on administrative leave pending an investigation by Capitol Police and D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department.

D.C. law enforcement officials said three other individuals, hailing from Pennsylvania, Georgia and Alabama also died on Wednesday, all believed to be the result of unspecified medical emergencies.

Police identified the Pennsylvania resident as Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Ringtown, Pa.

*The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that Phillips, a computer programmer, had recently moved to Bloomsburg, Pa., to help care for his mother. He suffered a stroke and died at George Washington University Hospital, the newspaper reported.

Sund, the chief of the law enforcement officers tasked with protecting the Capitol, and those who work inside, said Thursday that “a thorough review” is underway of the incident and the security procedures that fell short.

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Laura Olson
Laura Olson

Laura Olson covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.