Stand up for the facts!

Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Mourners pay their respects during a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, as an urn with his cremated remains lies in honor at the center of the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP/Dietsch) Mourners pay their respects during a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, as an urn with his cremated remains lies in honor at the center of the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP/Dietsch)

Mourners pay their respects during a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, as an urn with his cremated remains lies in honor at the center of the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP/Dietsch)

Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy February 9, 2021

Newsmax host falsely claims ‘only one person died’ at Capitol Jan. 6

If Your Time is short

  • Four people died as Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including one woman who was fatally shot and three people who suffered medical emergencies.

  • Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died Jan. 7. A Capitol Police statement that day said he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters.” Investigations into his death and the cause of his injuries are ongoing. 

  • Two other law enforcement officers who were present at the Capitol have since died by suicide, and more than 100 officers were injured.

The night before the Senate began the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Newsmax TV host Greg Kelly falsely claimed that only one person died Jan. 6 during the U.S. Capitol riot at the center of the push to convict Trump.

"They’ve been lying about so much, including, by the way, that five people died on Jan. 6, 2021," Kelly said Feb. 8. "It's not true. Only one person died on that day. You know who it was? The unarmed woman, Ashli Babbitt. Unarmed woman shot and killed by Capitol Police."

Kelly was wrong about the Capitol siege’s human toll. A spokesperson for Newsmax declined to comment.

In addition to Babbitt, three others died Jan. 6 from medical emergencies suffered during the riot, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed. A fifth person, Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, died the next day after responding to the riot.

Two other officers who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — D.C. police officer Jeffery Smith and Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood — died by suicide in the weeks that followed, acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said Jan. 26 in testimony before Congress.

The head of the Capitol Police officers’ union said about 140 officers were injured.

Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran and supporter of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she climbed through a smashed door leading to the hallway outside the House chambers. Her death was captured on video.

Featured Fact-check

According to the New York Times and other news outlets, the three other Trump supporters who died during the events included 55-year-old Kevin Greeson of Alabama, who suffered a heart attack; 50-year-old Benjamin Philips of Pennsylvania, who suffered a stroke; and 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland of Georgia, who died as fellow rioters fought through a police line. 

A friend who was with Boyland told WGCL-TV she was pinned to the ground and trampled by fellow rioters, which lines up with the New York Timesreporting based on videos from the event that she "died after losing consciousness in the crush of a pro-Trump mob." An incident report published by Snopes said officers dispatched to the Capitol found her collapsed and receiving CPR.

Contee reported all four deaths in a press conference Jan. 6. News reports from the day, including a fact-check from PolitiFact, also said four people had died in the violence.

Capitol Police announced Sicknick’s death in a press release Jan. 7, writing that the officer died at roughly 9:30 p.m. that day "due to injuries sustained while on-duty." Sicknick was injured while "physically engaging with protesters" on Jan. 6, and he collapsed after he returned to his division office, the press release said.

Investigations into Sicknick’s death are ongoing.

Our ruling

Kelly said, "It's not true (that five people died on Jan. 6). Only one person died on that day. You know who it was? The unarmed woman, Ashli Babbitt."

That’s inaccurate. Four people died at the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer, died the following day after he was injured in the violence.

We rate Kelly’s statement False.

If you or people you know are thinking about suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. 

Our Sources

Newsmax TV, "Greg Kelly Reports," Feb. 8, 2021

Media Matters for America, "Newsmax host says "they’ve been lying" about number of people who died during Capitol insurrection," Feb. 8, 2021

Forbes, "Nobody Has Been Charged For The Killing Of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick—Here’s Why," Feb. 3, 2021

CNN, "Investigators struggle to build murder case in death of US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick," Feb. 2, 2021

Snopes, "Did Woman Who Died at Capitol Riot Carry a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Flag?" Feb. 1, 2021

The New York Times, "Body Camera Footage Shows Capitol Rioters Trampling Over Woman," Jan. 28, 2021

Politico, "Second police officer died by suicide following Capitol attack," Jan. 27, 2021

The Washington Post, "Police union says 140 officers injured in Capitol riot," Jan. 27, 2021

Metropolitan Police Department, "Testimony of Robert J. Contee, III, Acting Chief of Police," Jan. 26, 2021

The New York Times, "Videos Show How Rioter Was Trampled in Stampede at Capitol," Jan. 15, 2021

The New York Times, "These Are the 5 People Who Died in the Capitol Riot," Jan. 8, 2021

CNN, "What we know about the 5 deaths in the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol," Jan. 8, 2021

The Guardian, "Capitol attack: the five people who died," Jan. 8, 2021

WGCL-TV, "Friend of Kennesaw woman killed in Capitol riot recounts her final moments," Jan. 7, 2021

United States Capitol Police, "Loss of USCP Officer Brian D. Sicknick," Jan. 7, 2021

United States Capitol Police, "Statement of Steven Sund, Chief of Police, Regarding the Events of January 6, 2021," Jan. 7, 2021

Business Insider, "DC police chief says 3 people died of medical complications as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol," Jan. 7, 2021

The Washington Post, "Ashli Babbitt was shot during chaotic moments in the Capitol," Jan. 7, 2021

The Associated Press, "4 died as Trump supporters invaded Capitol," Jan. 6, 2021

PolitiFact, "A day of crisis at the US Capitol, fact-checked," Jan. 6, 2021

Email interview with Alaina Gertz, public affairs specialist with the office of communications at the Metropolitan Police Department, Feb. 9, 2021

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Bill McCarthy

Newsmax host falsely claims ‘only one person died’ at Capitol Jan. 6

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up