Howard Liebengood Capitol Police Officer commits suicide after fellow cop killed by rioters. Remained unclear whether off duty cop’s death was connected to Capitol riots.
Officer Howard Charles Liebengood, 51, died while off-duty on Saturday, the USCP announced in a statement.
Of note, the USCP did not disclose a cause of death.
It was not immediately clear whether Liebengood, had played a role in defending the building on Wednesday, when insurrectionists stormed Congress in a bid to block the certification of Joe Biden‘s election victory
Nor was it known whether Liebengood’s death was connected to the siege, which claimed the life of another capitol officer, Brian Sicknick, 42, who was injured during clashes with the mob.
Was off duty officer suicide related to fellow cop on site death?
Sicknick died on Thursday after succumbing to injuries suffered after reportedly having been hit over the head by a fire extinguisher during Wednesday riots.
‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues,’ the USPC said in a statement. ‘We ask that his family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time.’
Liebengood had been with the UCSP since April 2005 and was assigned to the Senate Division.
Liebengood was the son of former top Senate aide Howard S Liebengood, who served as a Sergeant of Arms at the Capitol from 1981 to 1983 and died of a heart attack aged 62 in 2005 the dailymail reports.
The USCP made no suggestion that the younger Liebengood’s death had anything to do with last week’s riots at the Capitol, which claimed the life of his colleague, Sicknick.
Sicknick was the fifth person to have died as a result of Wednesday’s insurrection but he was the only cop – the other four were all Trump supporters.
His social media pages indicate that he, like the mob, supported Trump.
Disarray and poor security leads to heads rolling
It is unclear where he was when he was allegedly attacked or whether or not he was alone and outnumbered, as many of his colleagues were.
Police say he was injured while ‘engaging’ with the mob.
He then returned to his division office, where he collapsed, and was taken to the hospital where he was put on life support briefly.
In the days after Wednesday Capitol riot, the USCP has been criticized over its perceived failure to stop the riots.
Chief Steven Sund stepped down under pressure on Thursday amid claims the force was deliberately under-supported to avoid inflaming tensions with what might have been perceived as bad optics.
Anonymous sources told The Wall St Journal on Thursday that defense and police officials did not want to line the streets with armed National Guardsmen, as they did in the summer during the height of the BLM movement, because it would have raised the already escalated tensions in the Capitol.
Instead, fewer than 2,000 Capitol cops and only 300 unarmed National Guard were on duty to meet the mob of some 10,000.