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Two US police officers who responded to Capitol Hill riot ‘commit suicide’

Two US police officers who responded to Capitol Hill riot ‘commit suicide’
August 03
17:52 2021

Two police officers, who defended the US Capitol Hill during the January 6 riot, have reportedly committed suicide.

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According to the Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Gunther Hashida killed himself on July 29, while Kyle DeFreytag, another officer, was found dead on July 10.

According to CNN, Hashida was said to have helped secure the Capitol Hill during the January 6 riot as part of the emergency response team within MPD’s special operations division after a mob invaded the building.

The 26-year-old DeFreytag was deployed to protect the Capitol after police cleared the building of rioters, and was involved in enforcing a curfew.

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According to police authorities, four officers have now committed suicide in the aftermath of the riot.

“Officer Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29,” Kristen Metzger, Metropolitan police department spokesperson, was quoted to have said.

“We are grieving as a Department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,”

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Hashida is said to have joined the police force in 2003, while DeFreytag had been with the department since November 2016.

Jeffery Smith and Howard Liebengood, officers who also responded to the insurrection, both reportedly died by suicide in January.

Brian Sicknick, another Capitol police officer, was said to have suffered stroke and died of natural causes a day after responding to the attack.

More than 500 people have reportedly been charged by the Justice Department in connection with the insurrection.

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During a hearing before the panel in July, Harry Dunn, Capitol policeman, delivered an emotional plea to officers who defended the Capitol to seek professional help if they need it.

On January 6, a mob had stormed Capitol Hill while Congress was sitting to verify Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.

Just before the invasion of the Capitol, former US President Donald Trump, who refused to concede defeat to Biden, had addressed a crowd of his supporters, and urged them to march to the congress and take back their country.

The riot had led to the death of five people, while several others, including members of the MPD, were injured.

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