Days After Capitol Riot Off-Duty Capitol Police Officer Dies by Suicide - WSJ.com
Category: News & PoliticsVia: sandy-2021492 • 2 weeks ago • 11 comments
By: Siobhan Hughes and Natalie Andrews (WSJ)
Days After Capitol Riot Off-Duty Capitol Police Officer Dies by Suicide
By Siobhan Hughes and Natalie Andrews
Another U.S. Capitol Police officer has died in the days following the riot by a pro-Trump mob at the Capitol.
Capitol Police in a statement on Sunday said Howard Liebengood, 51-years-old, had died. A police union official said the cause of death was suicide.
"Mr. Liebengood's family members wish to grieve privately as they mourn the sudden and heartbreaking loss of Howard Liebengood," said Barry Pollack, an attorney for the family, in a statement. "He will be sorely missed."
It wasn't known if Mr. Liebengood's death was related to the riot.
"I'll be interested in finding out if there was a connection with Officer Liebengood," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) on "Face the Nation." "But mostly I'm interested in reaching out to both of these families. These are people we saw every day, particularly Officer Liebengood, who was very much assigned to the Senate side of the building."
Mr. Liebengood was assigned to the Senate division and had been with the department since 2005, according to a spokeswoman for the force. He was well-known on Capitol Hill, where his late father had served as chief of staff to former Republican Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee and sergeant-at-arms from 1981-1983.
"Don't. you dare question my calling him fantastic," said Matt Waldrip, chief of staff to Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) on Twitter. "Talking with him was often the best part of my Senate day." He said that "I know Howie well enough to know he did everything he could on Wednesday" and that "we pray for his family and for all who are grieving as I am."
Mr. Frist said that he hadn't spoken to the family.
The death occurred days after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol seeking to step the certification of the Electoral College votes that awarded Democrat Joe Biden the presidency in the November elections. It was the second death of a police officer in recent days and followed the death of Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher during Wednesday's unrest, according to a law-enforcement official.