The Washington Examiner reported this week that a police officer who was present during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has committed suicide, marking a total of four police officers that responded to the riot who have taken their own lives.
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Gunther Hashida served in Washington, D.C. for nearly two decades before reportedly taking his life last week.
“We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” MPD said in a statement following his death.
A member of an emergency response team with MPD’s Special Operations Division, Hashida was among those tasked with quelling the violence on Jan. 6.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement praising Hashida as “a hero, who risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy.”
She added: “All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on January 6th and throughout his selfless service.”
An online fundraiser set up in Hashida’s name, as an effort to help his spouse offset the sudden loss of income for his family, describes him as someone who “worked to serve and protect the public. He was a devoted and loving husband and father.”
The Examiner noted that with his passing, Hashida became the third law enforcement officer to die by his own hand following the unrest. Twelve-year veteran MPD Officer Jeffrey Smith committed suicide in January days after the riot, while United States Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood did so as well.
However, the total number of suicides increased just hours later when it was revealed by D.C.’s Fox 5 that on Monday, 26-year-old MPD Officer Kyle DeFreytag committed suicide last month, with his mother confirming that he was called to respond to the Capitol riot during the latter part of his shift.
Silence on other attacks
Although the events of Jan. 6 have been the focus of much discussion, especially in the mainstream media, another act of violence that claimed the life of a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and wounded a second, has received comparatively little attention.
Fox News reported in April that a self-described Nation of Islam follower rammed his car into a security checkpoint, killing an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police force, William “Billy” Evans.
The network pointed out that a number of high-profile Democrats have long-standing ties to the Nation of Islam and its leader Louis Farrakhan.