A third officer who responded to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has died by suicide, police confirmed Monday.
The officer, Gunther Hashida of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, was found deceased in his home Thursday.
“We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” the department said of Hashida, who joined the MPD in 2003.
Hashida is one of four officers who have died since a mob spurred on by then-President Donald Trump descended on the Capitol. Two of them, Howard Liebengood and Jeffery Smith, died by suicide, and another, Brian Sicknick, died the day after he engaged with rioters.
While the MPD confirmed Hashida did respond to the Capitol on Jan. 6, it did not connect Hashida’s death to the incident. The MPD confirmed the cause of death was suicide.
Hashida’s family described him as “a devoted and loving husband and father” on a GoFundMe page raising money for his memorial service and his surviving family members. He leaves behind a wife, three children and a sister, the page states.
News of Hashida’s death comes days after other officers who responded to the riot testified before Congress about the horrors of that day, including moments they feared for their lives and endured racial slurs.
Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, said he later broke down sobbing when he and his fellow officers of color shared their experiences with one another. One officer he spoke to, Dunn testified, was told by rioters to “put your gun down and we’ll show you what kind of n****r you really are!”
Several officers testified that they believed that day they might die. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone said he feared he would “at worst, be dragged down by the crowd and lynched” and that there was “a very good chance I would be torn apart or shot with my own weapon.”
Fanone and other officers have also spoken out against Republican lawmakers who have continued to downplay the events of that day. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), for one, has insisted the Jan. 6 mob looked like a “normal tourist visit.”
Fanone spoke of the psychological toll such remarks have taken on him, saying, “Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist, or that hell wasn’t actually that bad.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
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