White House mourns recent suicides among officials responding to Capitol rebellion: ‘A sad reminder’ of January 6 attack

The Metropolitan Police Department publicly disclosed this week that Officers Gunther Hashida was found dead at his residence on July 29 and that Kyle Defretag was found dead on July 10. Both died by suicide.

“I wanted to take a moment to recognize the passing of Metropolitan Police Officer Gunther Hashida and Officer Kyle Defretag — two officers who braved the Capitol during and after the January 6 uprising,” Psaki said at Tuesday’s White House opening. saved from.” Press briefing. “His death is a sad reminder of that shameful day in our nation’s history, and it left officials who risked their lives to defend our Capitol and democracy.”

There have now been four known suicides by officers responding to the Capitol during the attack, and three known suicides by one DC officer in particular.

Saki said the officers’ recent demise “reminds us of the remarkable courage of the men and women of law enforcement who serve with honor and leave home every day, not knowing the risks they may face.” But they are determined to protect their communities.”

She also as outlined Recent congressional testimony conducted by officials responding to the rebellion as the Capitol building earlier this year said that “we heard firsthand last week from some of the people who served that day and their testimony helped.” Reaffirms the incredible bravery he showed in the worst possible circumstances.”

“We are indebted to their services and our thoughts go out to the friends, family and loved ones of both officers,” said Saki.

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, one of the officers who testified, told CNN’s Don Lemon on “Don Lemon Tonight” Tuesday evening: “We need to normalize the conversation about people struggling with trauma and mental health issues. We need to get rid of this stigma that people who struggle with those issues are vulnerable.”

“I am by far the strongest people in my life who have struggled with trauma and the mental health difficulties that go along with being a trauma survivor,” he said.

The Justice Department has charged more than 550 people in connection with the rebellion, according to CNN’s latest tally, and the attack is at the center of a high-profile House Select Committee investigation.

Hadhida joined in He was with the Metropolitan Police Department in 2003 and with the Department of Defretag since November 2016.

Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the force, and US Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, a 16-year Capitol Police veteran, also responded to the rebellion and later died by suicide. A recent Senate report of the day’s security failures lists both Smith and Liebengood among those who “ultimately lost their lives” following the attack.

This story has been updated on Tuesday with additional information.

CNN’s Whitney Wilde, Paul LeBlanc and Rashard Rose contributed to this report.


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