Second US Capitol officer to die after riot had ties to Memphis

Fallen US Capitol police officer was once a U of M student

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The second officer who died after an attack on the U.S. Capitol is said to have ties to Memphis.

Before 51-year-old Howard Liebengood became an officer on Capitol Hill, he attended the University of Memphis as a student under Professor and Executive Dean Dr. Richard Irwin earning a degree in Sports Commerce, a university spokesperson confirmed to WMC Monday.

Irwin says his death is both a shock and a tragedy.

”The world has lost an outstanding individual,” he said. “The world is down a great guy. We’ve lost a tremendous person and alumnus of the university. Someone who was a positive contribution to society and it’s just a shame.”

Fallen US Capitol officer was once a U of M student

USCP released the following statement Sunday about Liebengood’s death, which occurred while he was off duty:

The United States Capitol Police is deeply saddened by the off-duty death on January 9, 2021, of Officer Howard Liebengood, age 51. He was assigned to the Senate Division, and has 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.

It is unclear whether his death is connected to Wednesday’s events, but the Associated Press reports two people familiar with Liebengood’s death say it was an apparent suicide.

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