WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police officer who died Saturday was loved and well-known by Sen. Mitt Romney, his staff and many others, according to the senator for Utah.
In a statement released Monday, Romney said Officer Howard Liebengood was posted at the Russell Senate Office Building, where Romney's D.C. office is located.
"My team and I are heartbroken over the loss of Officer Howard Liebengood, a beloved and dedicated officer who devoted the past 15 years to keeping the Capitol community safe," Romney said in the statement.
Liebengood died Saturday while off-duty. The cause of his death has not been confirmed, but various sources and news outlets report that he took his own life.
"Howie was a familiar and cheerful presence, and also a friend to me and my staff, many of whom have known him for years," Romney said. "His bravery, kindness, and genuine care for others was deeply felt by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him."
Liebengood was among the officers who responded to the riot led by supporters of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. It’s unclear if his death is related to the siege of the building.
"Our team prays for strength and comfort for his loved ones, his brother and sister officers, and all those whose lives he touched," Romney said.
Romney also previously responded to the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed in the line of duty Wednesday.
"I join my colleagues and our entire Capitol Hill community in mourning this needless and tragic loss, and I pray for comfort for his loved ones and fellow officers," Romney tweeted Friday. "I hope the perpetrator who claimed Officer Sicknick's life is brought to justice."