A Capitol Hill police officer who responded to last week’s riot led by supporters of President Donald Trump in Washington, DC died on Saturday, U.S. Capitol Police confirmed.
Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, was part of the response as the pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to a statement released by his police union on Sunday. Liebengood, who joined the USCP in 2005, died while off duty and his cause of death has not been disclosed.
“We are in shock at the death of Agent Liebengood,” union president Gus Papathanasiou said on Sunday. “Each Capitol Police officer puts the safety of others before his own safety, and Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that characterizes the USCP. It is a tragic day. “
Biparty tributes to Liebengood – including from former running mate Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Az. – were shared on social media on Sunday shortly after the news of his death was announced.
“For nearly 16 years, Capitol Constable Howard Liebengood honored his duty to protect the halls of Congress,” McCarthy wrote. “Judy and I pray for Howard’s family and the entire Capitol Hill community as we mourn the loss of a great man.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues,” USCP said in announcing Liebengood’s death. “We ask that her family, and the privacy of other USCP officers and their families, be respected during this deeply difficult time.”
Liebengood’s death follows that of his colleague Brian D. Sicknick, who died Thursday of injuries sustained during the riot. Papathanasiou noted that the department also lost a third officer, Eric Marshall, on January 2 following a battle with cancer.
“Their life and service will not be forgotten,” Papathanasiou said.