Two more DC police officers who responded to the US Capitol insurrection have died by suicide, authorities announced on Monday, bringing the total to four officers who have taken their own lives in the aftermath of the January 6 riot.
“Officer Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Kristen Metzger told Fintech Zoom in a statement.
“We are grieving as a Department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” Metzger said.
Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10, according to department public information officer Sean Hickman.
Hashida had joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 2003 and DeFreytag had been with the department since November 2016.
The deaths mark four known suicides by officers who responded to the Capitol during the attack, and three known suicides by a DC officer specifically.
Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the force, and US Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, a 16-year Capitol Police veteran, also responded to the insurrection and later died by suicide. A recent Senate report into the security failures of the day lists both Smith and Liebengood among those who “ultimately lost their lives” following the attack.
Another Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, suffered strokes and died of natural causes one day after responding to the attack, Washington DC’s chief medical examiner determined in April.
The Justice Department has charged more than 550 people in connection with the insurrection, according to Fintech Zoom’s latest tally, and the attack is at the center of a high-profile House select committee investigation.
During a hearing before the panel last month, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn delivered an emotional plea to officers who defended the Capitol to seek out professional help if they need it.
“I want to take this moment and speak to my fellow officers about the emotions they are continuing to experience from the events of January 6. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling,” Dunn said.
“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.”
This story has been updated with additional information Monday.
Editor’s Note: If you or a loved one have contemplated suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.