A fourth police officer has died by suicide months after defending the U.S. Capitol against a violent mob of insurrectionists. According to Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police; Capitol Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead last month.
“I am writing to share tragic news that Officer Kyle DeFreytag of the 5th District was found deceased last evening,” Chief Robert J. Contee III wrote in a July memo to the department, first reported by WUSA9 on Monday (Aug. 2). “This is incredibly hard news for us all and for those that knew him best.”
Confirmation of DeFreytag’s July 10 death arrived just hours after a spokesperson for the police department confirmed that another Capitol Police officer, Officer Gunther Hashida, was found dead at his home last Thursday (July 29).
Hashida, an 18-year veteran of the department, was recently assigned to the squad’s Emergency Response Team. According to his obituary announcement shared by the Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home in Dale City, Virginia; he would have turned 44 years old this week.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement responding to Hashida’s death calling him a hero who put his life on the line for “our very Democracy:”
“Officer Hashida was a hero who risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy,” she said. “All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on Jan. 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,” she added.
Both Hashida and DeFreytag defended the Capitol against rioters on Jan. 6, with the latter responding to the area that day to enforce curfew violations. Sadly, the officers’ deaths follow suicides by two other cops: 15-year Capitol Police force veteran Howard “Howie” Liebengood and Officer Jeffrey Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department.
On Jan. 7, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick also died as a result of the multiple strokes he suffered while fighting off rioters.