Another officer who rushed to the scene of the January 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol has passed away from suicide.
In his opening statement to a closed session of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, acting D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III revealed that Officer Jeffrey Smith took his own life days after the riot.
“Five people lost their lives on January 6th — Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and four others. And tragically, two officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, one each from the Capitol Police and MPD, took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle. We honor the service and sacrifices of Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffrey Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families,” Contee said in his address.
Per a department spokesman, Smith, 35, had been a law enforcement officer for 12 years and was assigned to the Washington, D.C., neighborhoods of Cleveland Park and Georgetown.
Earlier this month, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) confirmed that Liebengood, an off-duty United States Capitol Police officer and a 15-year veteran, had passed away at age 51.
As reported by the Washington Post, a spokesman for his family later said Liebengood died by suicide.
“His death is a tragedy that has deprived all of us a dedicated public servant,” Barry Pollack, a lawyer representing the Liebengood family, said in a statement. “His family has suffered a devastating loss and asks that they be given space to grieve in private.”
Prior to this, the USCP tragically announced that Sicknick passed away from injuries he sustained “while physically engaging with protesters” at the riots.
Police said that Sicknick collapsed after returning to his division office and was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
During his testimony, Contee said 65 D.C. police officers sustained injuries that have been documented in injury reports.
Contee went on to say that “many more sustained injuries from the assault — scratches, bruises, eyes burning from bear mace — that they did not even bother to report.”
Our condolences go out to all those affected by this senseless act of violence and chaos.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).