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2 More Officers Who Defended Capitol on Jan. 6 Commit Suicide

After 2 others took their own lives in January
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2021 12:54 AM CDT
2 More Officers Who Defended Capitol on Jan. 6 Commit Suicide
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump breach the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(Newser) – Within days of the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, two police officers who were at the scene took their own lives: Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood and Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith. Now, two more officers who defended the Capitol that day have also died by suicide. A spokesperson for Washington DC's Metropolitan PD announced Monday that MPD Officer Gunther Hashida, 43, was found dead at his home last Thursday and that MPD Officer Kyle deFreytag, 26, was found dead July 10, CNBC reports.

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According to a GoFundMe campaign for Hashida's family, the "devoted and loving husband and father" leaves behind a wife and three children. DeFreytag's obituary says he "was kind, he had a quick wit and a great sense of humor & kept us laughing for 26 years." He is survived by his parents and siblings. A fifth officer, Brian Sicknick of the Capitol Police, died Jan. 7 after collapsing the day of the riot and suffering two strokes, which the medical examiner said the attack contributed to. About 140 officers were injured. At a recent hearing before the House select committee probing the attack, CNN reports that a Capitol Police officer said officers who responded to the "traumatic" events should feel no shame in getting counseling to deal with "the emotions they are continuing to experience from the events of January 6." (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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