Off-duty U.S. Capitol Police officer has died

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 08: The American flag is lowered to half-staff atop the U.S. Capitol Building following the death of a U.S. Capitol Police Officer on January 08, 2021 in Washington, DC. The officer died after he was injured when a pro-Trump mob stormed and entered the Capitol Building on Wednesday. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – U.S. Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood died Saturday while off-duty, the department announced Sunday. He was 51.

Two people familiar with the matter said the officer’s death was an apparent suicide.

It was not clear whether his death was connected to Wednesday’s events.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Liebengood was assigned to the Senate Division and had been with the department since 2005.

On Twitter Sunday, CBS News Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes said Former Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer told the news organization that Liebengood’s death was a “line of duty casualty.”

The office of the U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Gainer’s reported statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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