Four officers who responded to U.S. Capitol attack have died by suicide

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington
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By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) -The District of Columbia's police department on Monday said two more police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol have died by suicide, bringing to four the number of known suicides by officers who guarded the building that day.

Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida was found dead in his home Thursday, department spokesman Hugh Carew said in a statement.

Hashida joined the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in May 2003.

Another MPD officer who responded to the Capitol on Jan. 6, Kyle DeFreytag, was found dead on July 10, Carew said. DeFreytag’s cause of death was also suicide, Carew said.

He had been with the police department since November 2016.

MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood also responded to the Capitol riot and later died by suicide.

Hundreds of then-President Donald Trump supporters stormed the building that day in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden's election win.

Four people died on the day of the violence.

A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. More than 100 police officers were injured.

The mayhem led to Trump's second impeachment trial. More than 500 people have been arrested for their roles in the violence.

During emotional testimony last week, four police officers told a House of Representatives special committee that they were beaten, threatened, taunted with racial insults, and thought they might die as they struggled to defend the Capitol against the mob.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Stephen Coates, Robert Birsel)

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