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Third D.C. officer who responded to Capitol riot dies by suicide

Aug 02, 2021
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A Washington, D.C., police officer who responded to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 has died by suicide, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department.

“Officer Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29,” the MPD statement said.

“Officer Hashida joined MPD in May 2003. We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends.”

In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent condolences on behalf of the House of Representatives.

“Officer Hashida was a hero, who risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy,” Pelosi’s statement said. “All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on January 6th and throughout his selfless service.”

In a Facebook post on Monday, Romelia Hashida shared a photo of herself with her late husband.

“A thousand words couldn’t bring you back… I know this because I tried, neither could a thousand tears… I know this because I cried, you left behind a broken heart and happy memories too… but I never wanted memories… I only wanted you,” the caption read.

Over 100 officers from the MPD and Capitol Police were injured defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, and counting Hashida, three have died by suicide in the subsequent months.

MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III told a House committee in January that Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year-veteran, had killed himself in the days after the Jan. 6 riots.

Another officer, Howard Liebengood, who joined the Capitol Police in 2005, died by suicide three days after the attack.

In an interview with the New York Times, Smith’s widow said Jeffrey was hit in the head during the riot and “was a completely different person” afterward.

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered a stroke in the immediate aftermath of the riot, died of natural causes, according to a medical examiner.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

Janelle Griffith contributed.

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