4th US police officer who responded to Capitol riot commits suicide

Washington, Aug 3 (IANS): A fourth US police officer who responded to the January 6 Capitol riots staged by by extremist supporters of former President Donald Trump, has committed suicide, Washington D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department confirmed.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Department's spokesperson Kristen Metzger said that Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found dead in his residence on July 29, reports Xinhua news agency.

Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10, according to department public information officer Sean Hickman.

Hashida had joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 2003 and DeFreytag had been with the department since November 2016.

Metropolitan Police officer Jeffrey Smith and Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood, both having responded to the riot, died by suicide earlier this year.

Before the four suicides, Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick suffered strokes and died of natural causes a day after responding to the attack.

The Justice Department has charged more than 550 people related to the riot when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's presidential election victory, according to CNN's latest tally.

A 38-year-old man from Florida in July was sentenced to eight months in jail for breaching Congress, becoming the first Capitol rioter charged with a felony to be sentenced.



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