Second Officer Dies By Suicide After Riot At US Capitol, Acting Chief Of Police Says

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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A second police officer has died by suicide following the Jan. 6 incident where supporters of former President Donald Trump rioted and stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., according to testimony from Metropolitan Police’s (MPD) Acting Chief of Police Robert Contee.

Contee noted that “two officers” at the Capitol that day “took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle” during his testimony on Tuesday regarding security failures at the U.S. Capitol. Officers Jeffrey Smith and Howard Liebengood both died by suicide.

Smith’s death had previously gone unreported, according to Politico.

“And tragically, two officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, one each from the Capitol Police and MPD, took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle,” Contee said during the testimony, according to a copy reviewed by the Daily Caller. “We honor the service and sacrifices of Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffery Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families.”

Sicknick died after being injured during the riot, according to past reports. (RELATED: Police Gather In Washington, D.C., To Honor Fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick)

In total, five people died at the riot on Jan. 6, according to Contee’s testimony, in addition to Smith and Liebengood’s deaths. The announcement of Smith’s death comes after acting head of U.S. Capitol Police Yogananda D. Pittman admitted the department wasn’t ready for the incident, Politico reported.

Contee said on Wednesday that many others “sustained injuries from the assault” that went unreported, and noted that the riot will have a “steep” cost, from “both [a] human and monetary” standpoint.

MPD declined to provide an additional statement regarding Smith’s death and referred the Caller to Contee’s testimony. MPD’s public affairs specialist Alaina Gertz noted that Smith “was a 12-year veteran of MPD assigned to the Second District.”