Veteran Capitol Cop Commits Suicide Days After DC Riot
A veteran US Capitol Police officer has died by suicide, authorities and sources said Sunday, days after he responded to the riot that killed five people including another member of his department.
Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, died on Saturday while off-duty, the department announced in a statement.
“He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has been with the Department since April 2005,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.
“We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time.”
The department did not disclose the circumstances of Liebengood’s death, but sources characterized it as an apparent suicide.
It was not immediately clear what drove Liebengood — whose late father once served as sergeant-at-arms for the Senate — to the act.
The head of the department’s labor union said that Liebengood was among the officers who responded to last week’s riot.
“We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood,” said Gus Papathanasiou in a statement to several media outlets. “Every Capitol Police Officer puts the security of others before their own safety and Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is the hallmark of USCP.
“This is a tragic day.”
Liebengood’s death came as the department was still mourning Officer Brian Sicknick, who was pepper-sprayed and fatally bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher when supporters of President Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday in a futile attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Chief Steven Sund has announced his resignation from the force, effective Jan. 16.
Author: Aaron Feis
Source: NY Post: Veteran Capitol cop reportedly commits suicide days after DC riot