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Capitol officer, who died from suicide after riot, identified as Purdue grad

Liebengood, 51, earned a degree in history from Purdue University and was a 1991 graduate, according to a spokesperson.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — A Capitol officer, who died from suicide after the riot, was identified Monday as a Purdue University graduate.

Sen. Todd Young tweeted

"I am deeply saddened by the death of @CapitolPolice Officer Howie Liebengood. He was a @LifeatPurdue graduate, an avid auto racing & Indy 500 fan, and a friend to all who knew him. My deepest condolences are with his family, friends, and colleagues."

Liebengood, 51, earned a degree in history from Purdue University and was a 1991 graduate, according to a spokesperson.

According to U.S. Capitol Police officials, Liebengood, died on Saturday, Jan. 9. A spokesperson with the U.S. Capitol Police said Liebengood was assigned to the Senate Division and had been with the department since April 2005. 

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues. We ask that his family and other USCP officers’ and their families' privacy be respected during this profoundly difficult time," the department said in a release. 

According to CBS News, Liebengood's father, Howard Liebengood Sr., served as the Senate sergeant-at-arms from 1981 until 1983. 

Two law enforcement officials told The Washington Post that he had died by suicide, days after being on the scene of Wednesday’s riots.

The officials spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to release details that were not being made public.

"We are reeling from the death of Officer Liebengood. Every Capitol Police Officer puts the security of others before their own safety and Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is the hallmark of USCP," United States Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.