A pair of reports, both on Monday, revealed that two more police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol Building breach have died by their own hands, bringing the total number of self-inflicted deaths to four.
The Hill reported that DC Metropolitan Police have announced that one of its officers, Gunther Hashida, was found dead in his home on Thursday, according to an email from the department sent to the outlet.
“We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” MPD noted in the statement.
Hashida was assigned to the department’s Emergency Response Team, which is part of MPD’s Special Operations Division.
Meanwhile, WUSA-9, a CBS affiliate serving the Washington, D.C., area, reported that MPD Officer Kyle DeFreytag, 26, was found dead July 10, after having joined the department in November 2016.
DeFreytag was among a group of MPD officers dispatched to assist Capitol Police during the riot.
WUSA-9 reported that DeFreytag took his own life.
The outlet said that DeFreyTag was assigned to MPD’s 5th District and was at the Capitol to enforce curfew violations.
“I am writing to share tragic news that Officer Kyle DeFreytag of the 5th District was found deceased last evening,” Chief Robert J. Contee III said last month in a message to his department. “This is incredibly hard news for us all, and for those that knew him best.”
Confirmation of DeFreyTag’s suicide came on the heels of reports that Hashida, who would have turned 44 this week, had also taken his own life, WUSA-9 reported.
The Hill noted that Hashida reportedly committed suicide just two days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee to investigate the 1/6 incident held its inaugural hearings featuring four Capitol and MPD officers who gave emotional testimony regarding their experiences on that day.
Some spoke about the trauma of dealing with being assaulted by the crowd.
“For most people, Jan. 6 happened for a few hours, but for those of us who were in the thick of it, it has not ended. That day continues to be a constant trauma for us literally every day, whether because our physical or emotional injuries or both,” Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell testified.
Meanwhile, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn testified that he is has been getting private counseling and therapy for “persistent emotional trauma” suffered following the riot.
“Officer Hashida was 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 6th and throughout his selfless service,” Pelosi said in a statement released by her office.
“May Officer Hashida’s life be an inspiration to all to protect our Country and 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 January, shortly after the incident, 51-year-old Capitol Police Officer Howard “Howie” Liebengood committed suicide. A 15-year veteran of the department, he was also the son of former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Howard Liebengood Sr., WUSA-9 reported.
A few weeks later, MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith took his own life, reports noted.
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