By Kabir Yusuf
The U.S. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has announced that two more police officers who responded to the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol have died by suicide, bringing to four the number of known suicides by officers on duty at the building that day.
One of the officers, 43-year-old Gunther Hashida, was found dead at his home last Thursday, department spokesman Hugh Carew told CNN in a statement.
“We are grieving as a department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” the police spokesman was quoted as saying.
Another MPD officer who responded to the Capitol on January 6, Kyle DeFreytag, was found dead on July 10.
Mr DeFreytag’s cause of death was also suicide, the CNN reported, saying, “He had been with the force since November 2016.”
“MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood also responded to the Capitol riot and later died by suicide,” the American news network reported.
Hundreds of then-President Donald Trump supporters stormed the building that day in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election win.
Four people died on the day of the violence.
A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day.
About 140 officers from both the Capitol Police and the D.C. department were injured in the melee.
During an emotional testimony last week, four police officers told a House of Representatives special committee that they were beaten, threatened, taunted with racial insults, and thought they might die as they struggled to defend the Capitol against the mob.