January 17, 2021

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Trump supporters who died during Capitol riot left online presence – NBC News

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A computer programmer who founded a social media website for supporters of President Donald Trump and an Alabama man who posted online “Load your guns and take to the streets!” were among the four who died when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Another victim was Ashli Babbitt, 35, who was fatally shot by Capitol Police during the Wednesday incursion by rioters who demanded Congress reject the presidential election results. An ardent Trump supporter, Babbitt followed and promoted many well-known radical conservative activists and conspiracy theories.

The others, Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgias—died of medical emergencies, Washington, D.C., police said Thursday.

Greeson had a history of high blood pressure and suffered a heart attack, his family said, and is survived by his wife, Kristi, and children.

“Kevin was an advocate of President Trump and attended the event on January 6, 2020 to show his support,” the family said in a statement. “He was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.”

Greeson appeared to be active on Parler, the “Twitter for conservatives,” where an account with his name and picture lodged threats against Democrat and Republican politicians who Greeson said did not sufficiently support Trump.

Responding to a post that floated the “militia option” to keep Trump in office, Greeson wrote, “I’m in.. call me I have guns and ammo!” He interacted with posts from the far-right Proud Boys, telling them to give Antifa “hell.”

Greeson also said he hoped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would get Covid-19 and die, and on Dec. 17 wrote, “Let’s take this f—— Country BACK!! Load your guns and take to the streets!”

Kristi Greeson would not confirm whether the account belonged to her husband, but photos he posted on Parler are images of the same person found on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, which were verified by NBC News.

Philips, 50, died of a stroke, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, but NBC News was unable to verify his cause of death. The computer programmer founded a social media site for Trump supporters, Trumparoo.com, the Inquirer reported. The site coordinated rides to Washington for people who wanted to attend the protest.

“As my children are grieving and processing yesterday’s shocking events, I respectfully request privacy,” Nicole Mun, Philip’s ex-wife, said Thursday in a statement.

Mun said she no longer had a relationship with Philip and had nothing further to say. Other family members did not return repeated requests for comment..

Boyland also died because of a medical emergency, authorities said, providing no further details First responders performed CPR on her around 5 p.m. Wednesday after she collapsed, reported NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA. Her family did not return phone calls and emails seeking more information.

Ali Gostanian contributed.

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