A third police officer who responded to the Jan.6 riot on the U.S. Capitol committed suicide eight months after the deadly attack, authorities said Monday.
Gunther Hashida was found dead at his home on July 29, the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department said. It was not known how he had committed suicide or if his response on Capitol Hill contributed to his death.
“We are in mourning as a department as our hearts and prayers are with the family and friends of Officer Hashida,” said the MPD.
Hashida had been with the department since 2003 and was assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division.
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In a GoFundMe account created by her family, Hashida was described as a “devoted and loving husband and father.” He said he left behind a wife and three children.
Hashida’s death is the third known suicide of a police officer who responded to the Capitol in the attack in which supporters of then-President Trump stormed the building in an attempt to topple the election of President Biden.
MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood also ended their lives after responding to the Capitol. Liebengood’s family said the “trauma” inflicted by the riot had prompted him to take his own life.
A total of five people died during or shortly after the riot, including Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after his confrontation with rioters. A medical examiner’s report showed Sicknick was sprayed with a chemical around 2:20 p.m. on January 6 and collapsed on the Capitol at around 10 p.m. that evening.
He died around 9:30 p.m. on January 7, according to the examiner’s office.
Hundreds of suspected rioters were arrested in the months following the attack in a joint session of Congress to certify victory for the Biden Electoral College and face federal charges. The attack sent lawmakers to safety as rioters entered their offices and entered the House and Senate chambers.
A House select committee is investigating the events of January 6 in what Republicans called a partisan move. Four police officers who defended Capitol Hill blamed Trump and his staunch Republican allies for instigating chaos.
“The mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts … shouting ‘hop, ho’ as they synchronized by pushing their weight forward, crushing me further against the metal door frame,” said MPD Officer Daniel Hodges to committee members last week. “A man in front of me grabbed my baton… he hit me on the head and face with it, breaking my lip and adding further wounds to my scalp.”
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Meanwhile, MPD’s office Michael Fanone recalled how he was “shocked over and over again with a taser. I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could hear my own voice.”
Capitol Police First Class Private Harry Dunn told lawmakers how he was called the N word by rioters who violated the building.
“The only difference I see in [Jan. 6] it’s that they had marching orders, so to speak, ”he said. “When people feel emboldened by people in power, they assume they are right.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).