A second U.S. Capitol Police officer, Howard Liebengood, has died following Wednesday’s insurrection. Although no cause of death was formally announced, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports that it was by suicide.
Liebengood, 51, was assigned to the Senate Division of the Capitol Police and had been with the department since April 2005.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues,” reads a statement from the Capitol Police. “We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time.”
CBSNews chief Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes remembered Liebengood as someone “who always had a smile on his face and a kind word to share.”
I'll remember Howard Liebengood as a truly friendly Capitol Police officer who always had a smile on his face and a kind word to share, even at 6:45 in the morning.
— Nancy Cordes (@nancycordes) January 10, 2021
Liebengood’s father, Howard Sr., was the Senate Sargeant at Arms in the early 1980s and previously served as chief of staff for two Republican senators. He later became a lobbyist, who worked with former Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Liebengood is the second Capitol Police officer to die following the Washington, D.C., riots incited by President Trump. Officer Brian D. Sicknick was injured Wednesday after being struck by a fire extinguisher and taken to a local hospital. He died on Thursday; his death is being investigated as a homicide in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.
Among the other deaths that happened as a result of Wednesday’s event, Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by Capitol police, as well as protesters Rosanne Boyland, Kevin Greeson and Benjamin Phillips, who all suffered “medical emergencies.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is a free, 24/7 confidential service that can provide people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information and local resources.