A senior police officer who was on the scene of the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol last week was killed, with authorities telling the media that the veteran cop was killed by suicide.
According to a statement released by the US Capitol Police Union, Howard Liebengood, 51, who died over the weekend, was the son of the former US Senate sergeant-at-arms and exemplified "selfless service"
In a tweet, Capitol Police union chief Gus Papathanasiou said, "We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood,"
"Every Capitol Police Officer put 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."
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues," the Capitol Police said in a statement.
"We ask that his family and other USCP officers' and their families' privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time."
Neither remark alluded to suicide, but the Washington Post was told by two law enforcement officials that Liebengood took his own life.
Liebengood, after the violent storming of the Capitol building, is the second US Capitol Police officer to die.
Days later, Brian D Sicknick was shot "while physically engaging with protesters" and succumbed to his injuries, one of five people to die after the horrific events of the day.
Sicknick, 42, was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher during the struggle at the Capitol, two law enforcement officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The rampage that stunned the world and left the country on the verge forced the resignations of three top security officials from the Capitol over the inability to stop the breach.
It has prompted lawmakers to request an operations analysis and an FBI briefing on what they have termed a "terrorist attack."
After mounting pressure from lawmakers, Capitol Police chief Steven Sund stepped down, releasing a statement saying police were "actively attacked" with metal pipes and other weapons.
"They were determined to enter into the Capitol building by causing great damage," Sund said, disclosing that officers shot Ashli Babbitt as "protesters were forcing their way toward the House chamber where members of Congress were sheltering in place"