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Capitol Police Officer Who Responded To Mob Attack Dies Off Duty

Updated on Monday at 2:15 p.m. ET

Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, died Saturday off duty, according to the force. His cause of death was suicide, an attorney for the family said on Monday.

"I can confirm that Howard Liebengood died on Saturday by suicide after having been on duty at the Capitol on Wednesday," attorney Barry Pollack said in a statement. "His death is a tragedy that has deprived all of us a dedicated public servant. His family has suffered a devastating loss and asks that they be given space to grieve in private."

The U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee issued a statement over the weekend on Liebengood's death.

"We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood," union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said. "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."

The 51-year-old's death was the second death of a USCP officer in the span of three days.

Officer Brian Sicknick died Thursday from injuries sustained the day before, when the pro-Trump mob violently stormed the Capitol.

Sicknick was a 42-year-old military veteran who had served in the Capitol Police for 12 years.

His death is being investigated by the Capitol Police and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department's homicide branch. The Justice Department is also opening a federal murder investigation into Sicknick's death, a source familiar with the matter told NPR's Carrie Johnson.

On Sunday, police officers lined D.C. streets to watch a procession for Sicknick's body.

On Sunday afternoon, the White House issued a proclamation from President Trump, ordering flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the two fallen officers.

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Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.