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Fourth officer who responded to January 6 attack dies by apparent suicide


Four officers who responded to the January 6 attack on the Capitol have died by apparent suicide, including two whose deaths were confirmed on Monday by a spokesperson for Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Officer Gunther Hashida, an 18-year veteran on the force, was found dead in his home Thursday, according to Officer Hugh Carew, a police spokesperson.  

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

Hashida was assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the department’s Special Operations Division. 

Hours after Hashida’s death was announced, MPD confirmed officer Kyle DeFreytag had also died by suicide in July.

“Officer Kyle DeFreytag, assigned to the Fifth District, was found deceased on Saturday, July 10, 2021,” an MPD spokesperson confirmed to CBS News. The spokesperson added that the cause of death was suicide.

DeFreytag had been with the department since 2016, according to MPD, which also confirmed that DeFreytag responded to the Capitol on January 6. He had been assigned to enforce curfew violations at the Capitol following the riot, CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reports.

DeFreytag’s and Hashida’s deaths mark the third and fourth suicide of a police officer sent to protect lawmakers and the Capitol from a violent mob of former President Trump’s supporters as they attempted to prevent the election from being certified.

Officer Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the Capitol Police Department, and Officer Jeffrey Smith, who spent 12 years with MPD, each died by suicide in the days following the attack. A fifth officer, Brian Sicknick of CPD, died of natural causes a day after defending the Capitol on January 6. 

Four police officers recounted their trauma from that day last Tuesday before a House select committee tasked with investigating the attack. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquiliano Gonell, an Iraq veteran, said January 6 was worse than anything he had encountered during his Army deployment. “It was like something from a medieval battle,” he said. “We fought hand to hand, inch by inch, to prevent an invasion of the Capitol by a violent mob intent on subverting our democratic process.”

Jacob Rosen contributed to this report.


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.



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