Fourth police officer who defended U.S. Capitol during riot dies by suicide

Fourth police officer who defended U.S. Capitol during riot dies by suicide

By Nancy Dillon, New York Daily News

Troy Warren for CNT

A fourth police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has died by suicide, the Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia confirmed Monday.

Officer Gunther Hashida, an 18-year veteran on the force, was found dead at his residence on Thursday, department spokesperson Hugh Carew confirmed in a statement to the New York Daily News.

“We are grieving as a department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” the statement said.

Hashida joined MPD in 2003 and was assigned to a special ops team when he responded Jan. 6 to the mob of protesters who stormed the Capitol with the hope of stopping certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral win.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement calling Hashida a hero “who risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy. All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on January 6 and throughout his selfless service.”

The death is the fourth reported suicide of an officer who responded to the siege, with three known suicides by a D.C. officer specifically, according to reports.

Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood and MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith also died by suicide in the days after the attack.

Smith took his life “in the aftermath of that battle,” Acting Chief of Police Robert Contee III said during a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders in January.

Liebengood, 51, committed suicide three days after the deadly uprising by Trump supporters.

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from a stroke a day after he was hit with a fire extinguisher and pelted with pepper-sprayed while fending off far-right rioters.

The Justice Department has charged hundreds of people in connection with the capitol riots, including two men charged with assaulting Sicknick.

The Jan. 6 insurrection also is the focus of a House select committee investigation.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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By Troy Warren

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