WASHINGTON – Four days after a violent mob stormed the Capitol and overran its police force, an official charged with protecting the Senate during the siege died on Sunday.
The Capitol Police union said 15-year-old armed forces veteran Howard Liebengood was “among the officials responding to the riot at the US Capitol” when the insurgents instigated by President Trump attacked the headquarters of the US government .
“We express our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Liebengood and grieve for a friend and colleague who has worked with us to protect the lives of Congressmen, their staff and everyone who serves in the US Capitol,” it said in the statement from said the union.
Officer Liebengood, 51, had been a Capitol Police officer since 2005 and was assigned to the Agency’s Senate Department. His father, who shared his name, was the sergeant, the senior security officer of the Senate, from 1981 to 1983. Officer Liebengood is the Capitol’s second cop to die after the riot.
In a statement on Sunday, the Capitol Police said only that Officer Liebengood’s death occurred “off duty,” without giving the cause or answering any further questions.
“We are wavering from the death of officer Liebengood,” said Gus Papathanasiou, the union chairman. “Every Capitol police officer puts the safety of others before his own safety, and officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is America’s hallmark. This is a tragic day. “
The news rocked the armed forces days after another officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died Thursday from injuries he sustained while becoming engaged to the mob that attacked the Capitol. At least four civilians have died in connection with the siege.
Legislators have called for investigations and accountability based on what is arguably the most significant security flaw in decades. The chief of the Capitol Police and the NCOs of the House and Senate have been dismissed or have resigned.
“The US Capitol Police just announced the tragic death of official Howard Liebengood, whom I mourn,” said Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota. wrote on Twitter On Sunday. “Our officers need more than gratitude. You need authentic, capable leadership and meaningful support and I urge my colleagues to join me and demand it immediately. “