Capitol Police Officer dies of apparent suicide; it’s not clear if his death is related to the riots

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Police stand as supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities on Sunday announced the death of a 51-year-old Capitol Police officer. Two people familiar with the matter said the officer’s death was an apparent suicide.

Officer Howard Liebengood had been assigned to the Senate Division and was with the department since 2005. He is the son of a former Senate sergeant-at-arms.

It was not clear whether his death was connected to Wednesday’s events.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Liebengood’s father, who was from Indiana, was Senate sergeant-at-arms from 1981 to 1983 and later became a prominent lobbyist and chief of staff for two U.S. Senators. He died in 2005.

A Capitol Police officer died Friday, two days after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos.

The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Officer Brian D. Sicknick was injured “while physically engaging with protesters” during the Wednesday riot.

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