A veteran US Capitol Police officer reportedly died by suicide days after reacting to the attack on Wednesday when supporters of Donald Trump stormed Congress to avoid certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 elections.
Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, died on Saturday while off duty, the USCP announced in a Sunday statement.
He was assigned to the Senate Division, and since April 2005 he has been with the Department,” the statement read.” To his family, friends, and colleagues, our thoughts and prayers go out.
“We ask that, during this deeply difficult time, his family and the privacy of other USCP officers and their families be respected.”
The Associated Press was told by two sources that Liebengood took his own life, but no cause of death was revealed by the USCP.
A statement was emailed on Sunday afternoon by Barry Pollack, a D.C.-based attorney representing Liebengood’s family.
“Mr., Mr. Family members of Liebengood wish to grieve privately as they mourn Howard Liebengood’s unexpected and tragic death, Pollack wrote. “They will sorely miss him.”
From 1981 until 1983, Liebengood’s father, Howard Liebengood Sr, served as Senate sergeant-at-arms. He is the second Capitol Police officer to die in an attempt to delay the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in the days after Trump supporters stormed the house.
Brian Sicknick, the other cop, died last Thursday after a fire extinguisher struck him in the head as rioters descended on the Capitol building, leaving several other officers wounded. Capitol Police also shot a woman from California to death and three other individuals died during the confusion after medical emergencies.
A murder investigation into 42-year-old Sicknick’s death has been initiated by federal prosecutors.