A second member of the U.S. Capitol Police who was on duty during Wednesday’s chaotic incursion has died.
The Capitol Police announced the second death in its ranks with a sparse statement issued Sunday.
“The United States Capitol Police is deeply saddened by the off-duty death on January 9, 2021, of Officer Howard Liebengood, age 51. He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has been with the Department since April 2005. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues,” the statement said.
“We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time,” the statement said.
Citing what it said were “two people familiar with the matter,” an Associated Press dispatch published by WIVB-TV reported Liebengood’s death as an apparent suicide.
“We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood. Every Capitol Police Officer puts the security of others before their own safety and Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is the hallmark of USCP. This is a tragic day,” Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement, according to WRC.
Liebengood is the son of Howard Liebengood, who was the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate from 1981 to 1983, according to The New York Times.
Capitol Police announces the death of another officer: “The United States Capitol Police is deeply saddened by the off-duty death of Officer Howard Liebengood, age 51. He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has been with the Department since April 2005.”
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 10, 2021
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
This one hits hard. Officer Liebengood worked the door I entered and exited every day for as many years as I can remember in Russell. He came to our office to train our staff for emergency and active shooter situations.
He was an incredibly nice and kind man. https://t.co/qIKNV3tEqO
— Alex Siciliano (@jasiciliano) January 10, 2021
Deeply saddened to hear of the death of a second Capitol police officer. We don’t have details on his passing & it hasn’t been linked to the events on Wednesday. But it’s terrible news in this week of horrors.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 10, 2021
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, died Thursday.
The Capitol Police statement announcing Officer Sicknick’s death said he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
No official explanation of how Sicknick was injured has been released. Although some media accounts have said he was struck with a fire extinguisher, other accounts have suggested there were underlying health conditions at work.
Sicknick’s brother, Ken Sicknick, in discussing the loss, summed it up this way, according to ProPublica: “This political climate got my brother killed.”
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