Four officers who defended U.S. Capitol during Jan. 6 attack have died by suicide

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FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. People charged in the attack on the U.S. Capitol left behind a trove of videos and messages that have helped federal authorities build cases. In nearly half of the more than 200 federal cases stemming from the attack, authorities have cited evidence that an insurrectionist appeared to have been inspired by conspiracy theories or extremist ideologies, according to an Associated Press review of court records. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

WASHINGTON (WDVM) – D.C. Metropolitan Police confirmed Monday that two police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 attack against the U.S. Capitol took their own lives last month.

Veteran Officer Gunther Hashida was found dead last week. Police confirmed to Nexstar that Hashida died by suicide, making him the fourth officer who responded to the Jan. 6 riot to take his own life.

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

D.C. Metropolitan Police Dept. PIO Hugh Carew

Officer Kyle DeFreytag, who joined the department in November 2016, was found dead by suicide on Saturday, July 10th, 2021, officials confirmed Monday night.

U.S. Capitol Police Officers Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith also died by suicide in January.

“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.”

Pelosi added that she hoped his life would serve as an inspiration to all to protect the country and its democracy, “and may it be a comfort to Officer Hashida’s family that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.”

In a Facebook post, wife Romelia Hashida wrote:

“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.”

A GoFundMe to raise money for his memorial stated that he died on July 29. It said that Hashida “worked to serve and protect the public” while with the Metropolitan Police Department.

Hashida left behind a wife, a sister and three children.

If you or anyone you know has contemplated suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

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