Capitol police announce off-duty death of officer; no cause of death given

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The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) on Sunday announced the off-duty death of one of its officers. No details on how or when the officer died were immediately given.

Officer Howard Liebengood, 51, who served with the department since April 2005, was assigned to the Senate Division, the USCP said in a statement.

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

Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood during "Kid Safety Day," on April 24, 2008. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., released a statement following the news of Liebengood’s death.

"United States Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood was a familiar face to many of us who work in the Senate," Blunt said. "He was friendly, professional, and dedicated to the job. I appreciate everything he did to keep us safe. Abby and I are praying for his loved ones and colleagues." 

No cause of death was given in the USCP's statement. It was not immediately clear what Liebengood’s assignment, if any, was last week during the riot at the U.S. Capitol or whether he suffered any injuries.

It marks the second death of a USCP officer in the past four days.

Officer Brian Sicknick, a 42-year-old New Jersey native, died Thursday night from injuries suffered while defending the Capitol on Wednesday.


In the department’s history, only seven officers have died in the line of duty, with Sicknick being the third officer killed while defending the Capitol.

Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson died in July 1998 when a gunman entered the Capitol and opened fire.

Fox News' Mary Beth Hughes contributed to this report.

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