A Fourth Capitol Police Officer Has Died by Suicide in the Wake of the Jan. 6 Riots

·3 min read
kyle defreytag
kyle defreytag

bensing thomas funeral home Kyle DeFreytag

A Washington, D.C. police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots died by suicide last month, bringing the number of law enforcement officers who died by suicide after responding to the deadly riots to four.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement to WUSA that 26-year-old Officer Kyle DeFreytag had died by suicide in July, and that Chief Robert J. Contee III had notified the force of the officer's death in a sobering message.

"I am writing to share tragic news that Officer Kyle DeFreytag of the 5th District was found deceased last evening," Contee wrote to the department last month, WUSA reported. "This is incredibly hard news for us all, and for those that knew him best."

DeFreytag helped enforce the curfew put in place after a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump breached the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election results.

According to an obituary, DeFreytag "liked hiking, camping, riding his motorcycle, he liked traveling and playing the drums," and "always knew the best places to eat."

"Kyle was kind, he had a quick wit and a great sense of humor & kept us laughing for 26 years," the obituary said.

RELATED: A Second Police Officer Who Responded to Capitol Riots Has Died by Suicide

Just hours prior to announcing DeFreytag's death, Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Kristen Metzger confirmed to CNN that another officer, Gunther Hashida, was "found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29."

Hashida was assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division. He joined the police force in 2003, Metzger said in a statement.

"We are grieving as a Department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida's family and friends," the statement continued.

United States Capitol Police officer and 15-year veteran Howard Liebengood and MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith also rushed to the scene of the violent riots and later died by suicide.

A fifth officer, Brian Sicknick of the USCP, died on Jan. 7 from injuries he sustained "while physically engaging with protesters" at the riots.

Capitol building breached by pro Trump protesters
Capitol building breached by pro Trump protesters

Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty U.S. Capitol building breached

Last week, four Capitol Police Officers gave emotional testimonies during day one of a House Committee hearing on the Jan. 6 riots, explaining how they fought for their own lives while working to protect the building and the lawmakers inside.

Explaining how he was "assaulted and nearly killed" on Jan. 6, Officer Michael Fanone said he feared he would be "torn apart or shot to death" while he was being attacked by a "violent and angry mob."

Fanone explained how he was beaten and "electrocuted again and again and again" with a taser, while he could hear rioters yelling, "Get his gun and kill him with his own gun."

"My children continue to deal with the trauma of nearly losing their dad that day," Fanone continued elsewhere in remarks delivered to the committee. "What makes the struggle harder...is to know so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room."

Growing more emotional, Fanone raised his voice as he lambasted those who have tried to downplay the events of Jan. 6 in the months since the riots, saying: "The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful."

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