WASHINGTON — Gunther Hashida is the fourth D.C. police officer who responded to the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 to have have died by suicide, authorities announced on Monday.
“Officer Gunther Hashida, assigned to the Emergency Response Team within the Special Operations Division, was found deceased in his residence on Thursday, July 29,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Kristen Metzger told CNN in a statement.
“We are grieving as a department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” Metzger said.
Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead on July 10, according to department public information officer Sean Hickman.
Hashida had joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 2003 and DeFreytag had been with the department since November 2016.
Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the force, and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, a 16-year veteran, also responded to the insurrection and later died by suicide. A Senate report into the security failures of the day lists both Smith and Liebengood among those who “ultimately lost their lives” following the attack.
Another Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, suffered strokes and died of natural causes one day after responding to the attack, Washington D.C.’s chief medical examiner determined in April.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on Aug. 2: “On behalf of the House of Representatives, I send deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Metropolitan Police Department Officer Gunther Hashida.
“Officer Hashida was a hero who risked his life to save our Capitol, the congressional community and our very democracy. All Americans are indebted to him for his great valor and patriotism on January 6th and throughout his selfless service.
“May Officer Hashida’s life be an inspiration to all to protect our country and democracy. And may it be a comfort to Officer Hashida’s family that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) tweeted, “Officer Gunther Hashida risked his life to defend our democracy on one of our darkest days, and we will remain indebted to his heroism. I offer my condolences to his family and his loved ones during this difficult time.”
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said, “Words cannot express the anguish we feel over the passing of MPD officers Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag. On Jan. 6, both of these officers risked their lives to defend our democracy. We are forever in their debt.
“It’s up to us to do everything we can to make mental health resources more accessible for everyone. Especially for those who put their lives on the line to protect us.”
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) said, “My heart aches for the families of Officer Kyle DeFreytag and Officer Gunther Hashida, two more heroes that saved lives and our democracy on Jan. 6. My prayers go to them and their colleagues, who are grieving the loss of yet another brother in blue. America will never forget their courage and commitment to duty.”
The Gunther Hashida Memorial and Family Support Fund has been established on GoFundMe.com on behalf of Romelia Hashida. The introduction reads:
“On July 29, 2021, we lost Gunther Hashida, who leaves behind a loving wife, sister, 3 children, and a wonderful family. In his work as an officer with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, he worked to serve and protect the public. He was a devoted and loving husband and father. This fund will help support his memorial service and his family in the loss of his love and guidance.
“The fund organizer is Nolvia Benitez (sister of Romelia Hashida), who is authorized to raise funds on behalf of the Hashida family. Funds will pay for the memorial service for Gunther, support for his two sons and their education, and provide lost income support for his widow, Romelia Hashida, as they all try to navigate life with the loss of their husband and father.
“We really appreciate all your support. Thank you.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the page has raised more than $118,000 toward a goal of $250,000.