A 4th officer who defended the Capitol on January 6 has died by suicide

A mob outside the US Capitol.
Four law-enforcement officers who responded to the Capitol siege on January 6 have since killed themselves. NurPhoto/Getty
  • Kyle DeFreytag is the fourth officer known to have died by suicide since defending the Capitol.
  • News of his July 10 death emerged hours after the police confirmed Officer Gunther Hashida had died.
  • Officers Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith died within days of the January 6 Capitol riot.
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A fourth law-enforcement officer who defended the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection later died by suicide, the DC Metropolitan Police Department said Monday.

Officer Kyle DeFreytag served in the department’s Fifth District and was sent to the Capitol to enforce curfew violations, the department said, per the news channel WUSA9.

DeFreytag was found dead July 10, sources told the Forbes reporter Andrew Solender. He had served in the police department for nearly five years, a representative told Solender.

News of DeFreytag’s death emerged just hours after the police department confirmed the Thursday suicide of Gunther Hashida, another officer who responded to the Capitol riot. A GoFundMe page was started to raise $US250,000 ($AU339,651) to support his family.

Two other officers who had been assigned to the Capitol that day died by suicide soon afterward.

Authorities said Howard Liebengood, a Capitol Police officer, died January 9. He had worked at the Capitol since 2005.

“We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood,” Gus Papathanasiou, the head of the Capitol Police union, said in a statement on January 10. “Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is the hallmark of USCP.”

Another Metropolitan Police officer, Jeffrey Smith, took his own life eight days after the Capitol siege. Smith had been with the department for 12 years before the insurrection.

Experts caution that suicides are usually the result of complex factors and can rarely be attributed entirely to a single cause. Smith’s wife, however, told The New York Times that he had gone into a deep depression after the riot, where she said he was struck on the head with a metal pole.

“When my husband left for work that day, he was the Jeff that I knew,” Smith told The Times. “When he returned after experiencing the event, being hit in the head, he was a completely different person.”

The Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.