Four officers who responded to the attack on the U.S. Capitol died by suicide


By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) -District of Columbia police ministry said on Monday two more police officers who responded to the January 6 riot in the United States Capitol died by suicide, bringing to four the number of known suicides of officers guarding the building that day.

Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida was found dead at his home on Thursday, department spokesman Hugh Carew said in a statement.

Hashida joined the Metropolitan District of Columbia Police Department (MPD) in May 2003.

Another MPD agent who responded to the Capitol on January 6, Kyle DeFreytag, was found dead on July 10, Carew said. DeFreytag’s cause of death was also suicide, Carew said.

He had been with the police department since November 2016.

MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith and the United States Capitol Police Agent Howard Liebengood also responded to the Capitol riot and later died by suicide.

Hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the building that day in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the electoral victory of Democratic President Joe Biden.

Four people died on the day of the violence.

A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by demonstrators died the next day. Over 100 police officers were injured.

Chaos led to Trump’s second impeachment trial. More than 500 people have been arrested for their role in the violence.

In a moving testimony last week, four police officers told a special House of Representatives committee they had been beaten, threatened, taunted by racial slurs and believed they risked death as they fought to defend the Capitol against the crowd.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Stephen Coates, Robert Birsel)



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