Two men sought by Ashli Babbitt's family after witnessing her shooting death at the U.S. Capitol have been identified as individuals previously arrested by the FBI and indicted on federal charges, The Epoch Times reported Thursday.
Babbitt, 35, was shot to death by a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
The identification of Christopher Ray Grider, from Eddy, Texas, and Chad Barrett Jones, from Mount Washington, Kentucky, reduces the number of "unknowns" who witnessed the scene at the speaker’s lobby entrance on Jan. 6, The Epoch Times said.
In photos and video, Grider, 40, is the "Gadsden Flag Man" seen in the center of the lobby hallway just feet away when Babbitt was shot. He was indicted in January 2021 on seven federal counts.
Jones, 42, can be seen on video in an orange-red jacket and gray cap. He allegedly used the end of a flagpole to smash a window in the lobby door. He was indicted in March 2021 on eight counts.
Babbitt's family has been seeking to identify key participants in the hallway unrest that afternoon.
Video shows Grider was one of the first to arrive in the hallway after Babbitt and journalist Tayler Hansen, The Epoch Times reported. He is seen conversing with police officers.
Grider can be seen on video handing a black riot helmet to Zachary J. Alam, who used the headgear to smash several windows in the entryway to the Speaker's Lobby.
Grider, owner of a Texas winery, voluntarily surrendered to authorities. He was charged with destruction of government property, disorderly or disruptive behavior in a restricted building, committing an act of violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and obstruction of an official proceeding, The Epoch Times said.
"The defendant [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," prosecutors wrote in one court filing. "The defendant was holding his phone over the stairway, appearing to capture a video or pictures of Babbitt.
"Did they show up at his home in Chilton, Texas in SWAT gear with assault weapons drawn? No. Did they make forced entry into his home to arrest him in the middle of the night? No. What did they do? They called him up and asked him to come to Austin, Texas. And that is exactly what Mr. Grider did."
Jones was arrested in January 2021 after acquaintances saw him on television and reported it to the FBI. He is charged with civil disorder, engaging in physical violence, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering/remaining in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, and other charges, The Epoch Times said.
Jones can be seen on video allegedly using a wooden flagpole to punch a hole in the glass of the left door leading to the speaker’s lobby.
The Epoch Times said new video it discovered shows Babbitt made unsuccessful attempts to deter the violence.
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