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Third DC police officer who responded to Capitol riot dies by suicide

Aug 02, 2021
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A police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot died by suicide on Thursday, July 29, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of Washington, D.C., confirmed Monday.

“Officer Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29,” MPD spokeswoman Kristen Metzger told CNN. “We are grieving as a Department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends.”

Hashida joined MPD in 2003, Metzger added. He is the third MPD officer who responded to the Capitol riot to die by suicide. Officers Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith died by suicide in the aftermath of the riot, then-Acting Chief of Police Robert Contee testified to Congress. Smith’s death had previously gone unreported. (RELATED: House Votes To Give Capitol Police Congressional Gold Medals For Heroism During Capitol Riot)

“Tragically, two officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, one each from the Capitol Police and MPD, took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle,” Contee testified. “We honor the service and sacrifices of Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffery Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families.”

Sicknick died of a stroke the day after the Capitol riot. A medical examiner ruled that his death was due to natural causes, and did not link it to the riot.

Three U.S. Capitol Police officers and one MPD officer testified to the Jan. 6 Select Committee on July 27.

“What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle,” Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell testified. “We fought hand to hand … I recall thinking to myself, ‘this is how I’m gonna die.’”

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