Authorities have confirmed that a 51-year-old Capitol Police officer who died by suicide this weekend had been at the U.S. Capitol when an angry, violent mob breached the building on Wednesday.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Howard Liebengood, who had been with the Capitol Police since 2005, took his own life on Saturday. A lawyer for his family confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Liebengood was at the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection. The circumstances of Leibengood’s suicide remain unknown.
“His death is a tragedy that has deprived all of us a dedicated public servant,” the attorney, Barry Pollack, told BuzzFeed News. “His family has suffered a devastating loss and asks that they be given space to grieve in private.”
A CBS News reporter said in Twitter posts on Monday that a female Capitol police officer has turned in her weapon due to fears of self-harm, one of multiple officers struggling with the effects of Wednesday’s violent incident.
NEWS: The US Capitol Police has had to respond to "a couple of incidents" of officers threatening to harm themselves in the wake of the attack on Capitol Hill. This includes a female officer who turned in her own weapon for fear of what might happen.
— Michael Kaplan (@mkaplantv) January 11, 2021
“There’s tremendous moral injury, a sense of failure weighing them down. They went home to family and were asked how did this happen,” a source with knowledge of the situation told CBS News. “And it’s very easy for those officers to interpret that as ‘how could you let this happen?’”
Another Capitol Police officer, 42-year-old Brian Sicknick, died on Thursday after he was injured while “engaging with protesters” the day before, Capitol Police said in a statement. According to multiple reports, Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher. Authorities have not yet taken any suspects into custody.
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[Feature image: S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)]