On Sunday, Capitol Police announced, four days after a violent mob stormed the Capitol and overran the police force, an officer assigned to protecting the Senate had died during an out-of-service siege.
The Capitol Police Syndicate said that Officer Howard Lybingood, a 15-year veteran, “was among the officers who responded to the US Capitol riots” on Wednesday, when the insurgents, instigated by President Trump, attacked the US government headquarters.
“We express our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Lepingood and mourn the death of a friend and colleague who worked with us to protect the lives of members of Congress, their staff and all employees of the US Capitol Building,” the Federation said.
Officer Lepingwood, 51, has been a Capitol police officer since 2005, assigned to the acting Senate division. His father, who shared his name, served as a sergeant in arms, the chief security officer, in the Senate from 1981 to 1983. He is the second Capitol police officer to die in the aftermath of the riots.
In a statement on Sunday, Capitol Police only said that the death of Officer Liebingood occurred “out of service,” but did not say why and did not answer other questions.
“We are suffering from the death of Officer Lepingood,” said Jos Papathanasio, the union’s president. “Every Capitol police officer puts the security of others before theirs, and Officer Liebengood was an example of the selfless service that is the hallmark of the USCP. This is a tragic day.”
The news shook the police force days after another officer, Brian D. Siknik passed away On Thursday, the injuries he sustained when clashing with the mob who attacked the Capitol building. At least four civilians were killed due to the blockade.
Lawmakers called for investigations and accountability based on arguably the biggest security failure in decades. The capitol police chief was fired or resigned, as were censors in both the House and Senate.
“The US Capitol Police just announced the tragic death of Officer Howard Lepingwood – whom I mourn,” Rep. Dean Phillips, Democrat from Minnesota, He wrote on Twitter. “Our officers need more than gratitude. They need real, capable leadership and purposeful support, and I invite my colleagues to join me to demand that immediately.”
Ian Koski, former aide to Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, posted on Twitter a photo of Officer Lepinggood smiling with a handful of cookies around Christmas.
“He was a real person and a good man, and that is a terrible tragedy.” Ms. Koski wrote.