Tragedy of the four Capitol riot cops who took their lives – as other officers reveal horrific injuries from siege

FOUR heroic police tragically took their own lives after protecting the Capitol from rioters.

More than 100 cops were injured during the January 6 insurrection, with some officers admitting that they're suffering from mental trauma in the attack's wake.


Five people died in the Capitol riots as protesters tried to stop lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Four police officers later died by suicide. Officer Kyle DeFreytag, 26, was found dead on July 10 last year.

On the day of the insurrection, he helped crews enforce the curfew put in place after the Capitol building was breached.

DeFreytag, born in Canadensis, Pennsylvania, was a DC police officer for five years.

An online obit said the 26-year-old liked camping, hiking, playing the drums, and tasting different ethnic foods.

Family members said: “Kyle was kind, he had a quick wit and a great sense of humor and kept us laughing for 26 years.”

He is survived by his parents, brother, sister, and her husband.

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Gunther Hashida was found dead in his home on July 29. He joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 2003 and was part of the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Hashida was a “hero”, adding that Americans are “indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism”.

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She said: “May Officer Hashida’s life be an inspiration to all to protect our Country and Democracy.”

Hashida left behind a wife, sister, and three kids.

In a GoFundMe page set up to help his wife and three children, organizer Msunshine Benitez wrote: "In his work as an officer with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, he worked to serve and protect the public. He was a devoted and loving husband and father."

Friends also paid glowing tributes to the Hashida.

'DEDICATED AND LOVING'

One pal penned: “He worked hard for his family and wanted nothing but the best for his wife and kids.”

Twelve-year MPD veteran Jeffrey Smith and 16-year veteran Howard Liebengood also died by suicide.

Smith, 35, shot himself in the head on January 15, while Liebengood died three days after the attack.

Smith was assigned to the DC neighborhoods of Cleveland Park and Georgetown.

On January 6, the cop messaged his wife Erin: “London has fallen”.

He knew she would understand that he was referring to the movie bearing the same name, the Washington Post reported.

In the days that followed the attack, Erin recalled that her husband wouldn’t even leave the house to walk their dog.

She said that sometimes she would wake during the night and discover her husband “pacing” up and down.

'NOT THE SAME'

Erin recalled: “He wasn’t the same Jeff that left on the 6th. I just tried to comfort him and let him know that I loved him.

“I told him I’d be there if he needed anything, that no matter what, we’ll get through it. I tried to do the best I could.”

Smith shot himself in the head on January 15 and cops found him in a Mustang that had rolled over down an embankment near the Potomac River.

Liebengood, of Fairfax County, joined law enforcement in 2005 and was assigned to the Senate Division.

He was an ex-race car driver before becoming a cop.

Wife Serena told Virginia representative Jennifer Wexton that the officer was "severely sleep-deprived" before his death in a letter that was obtained by CBS News.

Around 140 officers – 73 from the Capitol police and 65 from the MPD – were injured.

Cops suffered different injuries ranging from bruises and lacerations to fractures and burns.

'THEY CRY WITH ME'

Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline said: "Capitol Police officers also sustained injuries that will be with them for the rest of their lives."

In July, lawmakers heard from cops who described the moment rioters breached the Capitol.

Police Officer Aquilino Gonell, an emigrant from the Dominican Republic, said he thought "this is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance."

He added: "I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself 'This is how I'm going to die, trampled defending this entrance'."

Last month, he told NPR that his psychological wounds have not yet healed.

Gonell revealed: "They (my family) see me cry. They cry with me. They see me in pain. And they also cry because they can't do anything for me other than try to make me feel a little bit better."

MPD cop Michael Fanone said he was “grabbed and beaten" while rioters branded him a "traitor".

Daniel Hodges, also a D.C. police officer, said he remembers foaming at the mouth as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon, injuring his skull.

He said: “I did the only thing I could do, scream for help."

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn claimed one group of rioters hurled the n-word at him as he was trying to keep them from breaching the House chamber.

Dunn added: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling.

"What we all went through that day was traumatic, and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us."

More than 700 people have been arrested for their alleged roles in the riots.

One week after the deadly riot, Trump condemned the violence.

“I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.

"Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement,” Trump said in a video posted by the White House’s official Twitter account.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.





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