The third policeman, Gunther Hashida, dies by suicide after defending the Capitol during the pro-Trump mob uprising
Donald Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A Washington, D.C. police officer died by suicide, making him the third cop to kill himself after defending the U.S. Capitol during the January 6th Trump supporters uprising.
The official, 43-year-old Gunther Hashida, was found dead in his home last Thursday, a Washington police spokeswoman reported, who confirmed Hashida's death.
"We mourn as a department how our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Officer Hashida," said spokeswoman Brianna Burch.
Hashida was assigned to the Emergency Response team of the Metropolitan Police Department's Special Operations Division at the time of his death. He joined the MPD in May 2003.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: "On behalf of the House of Representatives, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and relatives of Metropolitan Police Department officer Gunther Hashida."
"Officer Hashida was a hero who risked his life to save our Capitol, the congressional community and our democracy," said Pelosi, D-Calif. "All Americans are indebted to him for his great bravery and patriotism on January 6th and during his selfless service."
“May the life of Officer Hashida be an inspiration to everyone to protect our country and our democracy.
Hashida is the fourth police officer to die in connection with the January 6 riots.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who collapsed in his office after responding to the riot, died of two strokes on Jan. 7. Washington's chief medical examiner said that "everything that happened during the riot" played a role in Sicknick's condition.
Two other officials who responded to the Capitol uprising died of suicide within a month of the attack.
These officers, Jeffrey Smith of the MPD and Howard Liebengood of the Capitol Police, had both been in their service for more than a decade.
A crowdfunding site set up on Sunday to pay for a memorial service for Hashida on Monday afternoon had raised nearly $ 14,000 from more than 130 donors. The GoFundMe page, which has a US $ 50,000 goal, states that Hashida "leaves behind a loving wife, sister, 3 children and a wonderful family."
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"In his work as an officer in the DC Metropolitan Police Department, he was committed to the service and protection of the public," it says on the site. "He was a devoted and loving husband and father. This fund will help support his memorial and family in the loss of his love and guidance."
The January 6 uprising began after then-President Donald Trump called on participants in a rally outside the White House to march to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was held to officially win the election of Joe Biden's electoral college to confirm.
Hundreds of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol grounds and buildings and disrupted the process.
More than 500 people were arrested for alleged crimes related to the invasion.
About 140 officers from the Capitol Police and the D.C. Department were injured in hand-to-hand combat.
At a congressional hearing last week, four officials said they had been attacked, verbally abused and threatened with death by crowds of people, many of whom were carrying guns.
"I was in danger of being undressed and killed with my own gun when I heard chants: 'Kill him with his own gun'", MPD official Michael Fanone testified.
Another police officer, Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, vented his frustration at hearing some congressmen who had downplayed the threat of insurrection.
"The same people we helped, the same people we gave borrowed time to get to safety, now they're attacking us, they're attacking our characters," Gonell said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.