A Capitol Police officer named Howard Liebengood took his own life on Saturday (Jan. 9), multiple outlets have confirmed. This death makes the second policeman who’s died since last Wednesday’s (Jan. 6) storming of the U.S. Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob. The first officer to die, Officer Brian Sicknick, occurred the following day of the attack.
“Capitol Police union confirms officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide yesterday. In statement they say he responded to riots Wed[nesday],” a Fox News reporter tweeted on Sunday (Jan. 10). TMZ added that the now-deceased cop was 51 years old and was with the Capitol Police Department since 2005.
“He died Saturday while off duty,” the news outlet claims. “Former Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer calls Liebengood’s death a ‘line of duty casualty’ ... clearly meaning even if it was a suicide there’s a direct connection to the riot.”
Wednesday’s events will go down in history — and for all the wrong reasons. Angered by President-elect Joe Biden’s election certification that was taking place on Wednesday, thousands of pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol to attempt to stop in and attempted a coup in the process.
Prior to Liebengood’s death, five people died as a result of the attack. Now, this number is up to six. Along with the first cop to die, two women and two men who were a part of the riot passed away, as well.
Ashli Babbit was fatally shot by Capitol Police after trying to break into the House chamber, Kevin Greeson accidentally tased himself and suffered a fatal heart attack, and Roseanne Boyland was trampled to death — ironically after holding a sign that read, “Don’t tread on me.” We haven’t learned about Phillips’ specific cause of death as of yet.
The FBI believes that the Capitol storming was an inside job, and is now looking for information to prosecute those involved. A number of rioters have already been arrested and federally charged.