A Capitol Police officer has died days after his response to the assault on the building on Wednesday, confirmed the Capitol police. Officer Howard Liebengood reportedly died off-duty.
Capitol Police Officer Dies
The cause of death of the police officer has not been officially announced. The Capitol Police's labor union declared the death of a 15-year veteran of the force Liebengood.
According to the federal law enforcement agency, "The United States Capitol Police is deeply saddened by the off-duty death of Office Howard Liebengood, age 51. He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has been with the Department since April 2005. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues."
It added, "We ask that his family, and other USCP officers' and their families' privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time," reported Yahoo.
His cause of death is what is being described as an apparent suicide, indicated by two sources.
A colleague with Capitol Police also alluded to his death as a result of suicide in a Facebook post on Sunday.
According to union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou in a statement, "We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood. 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," reported KUOW.
Liebengood's father served as the Senate Sergeant at Arms between 1981 and 1983.
Liebengood was the second officer of Capitol Hills to die this week as Brian Sicknick, 42, passed away on Thursday from injuries he sustained during the attack.
Although the cause of death was initially declared as an "off-duty" death by the US Capitol Police on Sunday, multiple news outlets and former police chief Terrance Gainer confirmed that the 51-year-old died by suicide on Saturday.
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Former Police Chief Terrance Gainer described his death as a "line of duty casualty," indicating it was no different than the death of fellow officer Sicknick.
According to the union, it is the second death of a USCP Officer in a span of merely two days, along with the passing of Officer Brian D. Scknick on Thursday night from injuries he sustained while on duty during the attack on Capitol Hills. It concluded that their lives and service would not be forgotten, reported Forbes.
Sicknick, 42, was a military veteran who had been with the Capitol Police for 12 years.
Sicknick's death is being probed by the Capitol Police and Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department's homicide branch.
Liebengood has served the Capitol police department since April 2005.
He was one of the officers who responded to the January 6 assault at the Capitol building spearheaded by supporters of President Donald Trump in an effort to halt the clinching of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the Electoral College.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared on Sunday he is ordering that the flags of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia be flown at half-staff at all Virginia government buildings on Monday.
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