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Another D.C. Cop Who Defended Capitol During Insurrection Has Died by Suicide

·3-min read
Gunther Hashida Memorial & Family Support Fund/GoFundMe
Gunther Hashida Memorial & Family Support Fund/GoFundMe

Two additional officers who protected the U.S. Capitol against a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6 has died by suicide, police confirmed Monday afternoon.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida was discovered dead at his home on Thursday after taking his own life, the department said.

“We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” MPD spokesperson Brianna Burch told The Daily Beast in an email.

Hours after Hashida's death was made public, authorities also confirmed that Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10—bringing the total number of officers known to have died by suicide after defending the Capitol to four.

Before his passing, Hashida had served in the department for nearly two decades—joining in 2003 and dedicating himself to MPD’s Emergency Response Team within its Special Operations Division.

Officer Who Defended Capitol During Riots Dies of Apparent Suicide

He is survived by a wife, three children, and a sister, according to a GoFundMe page that had raised more than $11,000 toward his memorial as of Monday afternoon.

“In his work as an officer with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, he worked to serve and protect the public,” organizers wrote of Hashida on the fundraising page. “He was a devoted and loving husband and father.”

The news of Hashida’s death was first reported by CNN.

The officers’ deaths comes months after two other police officers died by suicide following the harrowing battle against a mob of rioters on Jan. 6. U.S. Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood took his life three days after the riot. Days later, MPD officer Jeffrey Smith killed himself.

Last week, two of DeFreytag and Hashida’s colleagues—MPD officers Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone—appeared before a House select committee along with Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell to detail the physical abuse and racial slurs they endured from Trump supporters during the riot.

Dunn revealed that he has been to counseling to address the ongoing emotional trauma he faces in the aftermath of the assault.

“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.”

Before the announcement of DeFreyTag’s death, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday lauded his colleague, Hashida, as a “hero” whose efforts to protect the country served as an inspiration.

“Officer Hashida was a hero, who risked his life to save our Capitol, the Congressional community and our very Democracy,” Pelosi wrote. “All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on January 6th and throughout his selfless service.”

“May Officer Hashida’s life be an inspiration to all to protect our Country and Democracy. And may it be a comfort to Officer Hashida’s family that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time,” she added.

A memorial is scheduled for Hashida at the Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home and Crematory in Dale City, Virginia, on Friday.

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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