top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

These are the people who died in connection with the Capitol riot

A mob incited by President Donald Trump storms the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.

By Chris Cameron

As a pro-Trump protest turned into a violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, four people in the crowd died.

— Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as rioters tried to breach the House chamber.

— Kevin D. Greeson died of a heart attack, collapsing on the sidewalk west of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

— Rosanne Boyland appeared to have been crushed in a stampede of fellow rioters as they surged against the police.

— Benjamin Philips, the founder of a pro-Trump website called Trumparoo, died of a stroke.

Greeson and Philips died of natural causes, the Washington medical examiner said in April. He added that Boyland’s death was caused by an accidental overdose.

In the days and weeks after the riot, five police officers who had served at the Capitol on Jan. 6 died.

— Officer Brian D. Sicknick of the Capitol Police, who was attacked by the mob, died on Jan. 7.

— Officer Jeffrey Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department killed himself after the attack.

— Officer Howard S. Liebengood of the Capitol Police also died by suicide four days afterward.

The Capitol Police had previously said that Sicknick died from injuries sustained “while physically engaging with protesters.” The Washington medical examiner later ruled that he had died of natural causes: multiple strokes that occurred hours after Sicknick’s confrontation with the mob. The medical examiner added, however, that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

A bipartisan Senate report, released in June, found that the seven deaths were connected to the Capitol attack. But the report was issued a month before two Metropolitan Police officers — Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag — died by suicide in July.

The police agencies have not classified the four total suicides as “line of duty” deaths that would provide the victims’ families with enhanced benefits. Washington law excludes suicide deaths from the line-of-duty designation.

About 150 officers from the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department and local agencies were injured, and hundreds of workers were traumatized by the mob.

In its final report, the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 could mention an official death toll from the violence.

Democratic lawmakers have sought to include the police suicides as deaths that occurred in connection with Jan. 6. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said on Twitter in October that the Capitol riot was “a terror attack” that left “almost 10 dead,” a toll that apparently included the four suicides.

Other Democratic members of Congress have lobbied for the police suicides to be designated as line-of-duty deaths. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Reps. Jennifer Wexton and Donald S. Beyer Jr., all Democrats of Virginia, wrote to Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington in October asking that Smith be granted a line-of-duty death designation.

“Officer Jeffrey Smith was a mentally healthy person who received a blow to the head, began to exhibit symptoms he had never exhibited before, and nine days later died by suicide,” the lawmakers’ letter said. “The explanation for this tragedy seems clear.”

121 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page