The Air Force veteran fatally shot by police during last week’s US Capitol riot had been in a “throuple” with her husband and their live-in girlfriend, according to reports.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, and her husband Aaron Babbitt, 39, lived with their 29-year-old gal pal Kayla Joyce in San Diego, New York Magazine’s Intelligencer reported.
“I thought she was just going to a rally,” Joyce, who has known the married couple for about a year, said of Ashli.
“It was extremely unlike her to put herself in that position.”
During last Wednesday’s mayhem, Ashli was killed as she tried to climb through a smashed window in a panel beside a barricaded door in the Capitol building.
Joyce said she and Aaron found out about Ashli’s death “through the news. Through live television.”
“I actually saw it first on video when I was on the phone with multiple hospitals trying to find her,” she told the website.
Despite shacking up with Ashli and her husband, Joyce said she didn’t follow her girlfriend on Twitter and didn’t know about her fierce belief in QAnon conspiracy theories, the report said.
However, she said the image of Ashli that has emerged online isn’t representative of who she was.
“She wasn’t a terrorist. She wouldn’t have put herself in harm’s way for any bad reason,” Joyce told Intelligencer.
“It shouldn’t be construed that because she had an opinion that she deserved it. It’s just gross what they are saying.”
Ashli’s brother, 21-year-old brother, Andrew Witthoeft, told The Daily Mail that his sister was raised to welcome all people “regardless of your race, your ethnicity or your beliefs.”
“If you’re team America, you’re American regardless. That’s how she always put it,” he said.
Witthoeft said he had only met Joyce twice, but was sure that she was a good partner to his sister and her grieving husband.
“From my knowledge, Kayla is with Aaron supporting him right now,” he said.
“They were all one team. There was never anything bad,” Witthoeft added. “I never saw them against each other or anything like that. They were one team.”
Joyce told the Intelligencer that after spending the last few days speaking to the FBI and making her and Aaron’s social media accounts private, the pair were awaiting the return of Ashli’s ashes and planning a small memorial.
“I don’t want this attention. We don’t want this. She wouldn’t have wanted this,” Joyce said. “We were very local, private people. We barely even leave our community.”
She and Aaron are also trying to salvage the family pool company, which has lost customers in the wake of the riot.
“We’re upset with her,” Joyce said of Ashli. “We truly just never thought this would happen.”
Still, Joyce said she reminds their friends not to pass judgement on Ashli and to instead “remember that when you get angry with her, focus on who she was.”
“She was extremely happy that day. And that’s all I think about.”
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