Two District of Columbia police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol have died by suicide. They are the 3rd and 4th to do so.
MPD spokesperson Kristen Metzger said that Officer Gunther Hashida, an 18-year veteran on the force, was found dead at his residence last Thursday.
“We are grieving as a Department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends.”
Hashida was assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division and was dispatched to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He joined the MPD in 2003.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, offered condolences to Hashida’s family Monday.
“Officer Hashida was a hero, who risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy. All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on January 6th and throughout his selfless service.
May Officer Hashida’s life be an inspiration to all to protect our Country and Democracy. And may it be a comfort to Officer Hashida’s family that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.
Only hours later another suicide was confirmed by MPD to have taken place in mid-July. MPD spokesperson Makhetha Watson told USA Today,
“Officer Kyle DeFreytag, assigned to the Fifth District, was found deceased on Saturday, July 10th, 2021. He had been with the Department since November 2016.”
The department confirmed DeFreytag, 26, had responded to the riots at the U.S. Capitol and that the cause of his death was suicide.
The deaths are the third and fourth known suicides of police officers who fought back against a violent mob of supporters of former President Trump. Officer Howie Liebengood, a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the MPD, died by suicide days later.
Researchers say police officers and firefighters are at a higher risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide than any other profession, yet many do not seek treatment. So far, 18 police officers have died by suicide in 2021; 176 died last year.