- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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

D.C. Metropolitan Police on Monday confirmed the death of 26-year-old Officer Kyle DeFreytag on July 10, according to WUSA9.

The officer enforced curfews after attackers, inspired by then-President Trump’s call to freeze the electoral vote count, beat officers and smashed their way into the halls of Congress.



Police confirmed Officer DeFreytag’s death shortly after confirming that D.C. Officer Gunther Hashida died at his home on Thursday.

“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 Monday. “All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on Jan. 6th and throughout his selfless service.”

Mrs. Pelosi offered condolences to the DeFreytag family on Tuesday, saying “the loss of fallen officers who defended our democracy that day is devastating, and each life lost is a tragedy that America mourns, deeply.”

The White House also honored the officers.

“Their deaths are a sad reminder of that shameful day in our country’s history and of the physical and mental scars left [on] the officers who risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our democracy,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said their deaths are a “stark reminder of the integral role that mental health plays in our police department.”

“I am grieving their deaths and sending prayers to their families, but most of all, committing to action and remaining steadfast as we continue to make the well-being of all of our officers a top priority,” the mayor said.

Capitol Police in January confirmed that Officer Howard “Howie” Liebengood, 51, died by suicide.

D.C. Officer Jeffrey Smith took his life weeks later.

A House select committee is investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

D.C. Officer Michael Fanone, who was beaten that day, slammed certain GOP members at the first session on July 27.

“The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful,” he said, raising his voice.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican serving on the panel over the objections of GOP leadership, said investigators will take a close look at Mr. Trump’s actions that day and conversations he had with GOP allies.

Another Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died from a series of strokes the day after the attack.

He engaged with protesters and was pepper-sprayed. The D.C. Medical Examiner concluded the officer’s death was due to natural causes, and there was no evidence his death was a homicide, nor any indication that he suffered internal or external injuries.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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