Suicide of D.C. Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, Who Responded to Capitol Riot, Ruled a Line-of-Duty Death

Scene of rioters pushing their way into the Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith took his own life days after responding to the Jan. 6 insurrection.Getty Stock Images

Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, who had been a 12-year veteran of the force, shot himself on his first day back to work after suffering an injury during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

The death of D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith, who took his own life after days after Jan. 6, has been ruled a line-of-duty death. Smith had been working at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the insurrection, and suffered an injury while on duty. 

“Officer Smith sustained a personal injury on January 6, 2021, while performing his duties and that his injury was the sole and direct cause of his death,” the D.C. Police and Firefighters’ Retirement and Relief Board said in a statement, according to NBC.

The decision by the D.C. Police and Firefighter’s Retirement and Relief Board comes following following a months-long battle by his widow, Erin Smith, who could now be eligible to receive an annuity equal to her late husband’s pay and benefits, her attorney said, according to the Wall Street Journal. She may now also be entitled to health benefits, according to CNN.

"She knows this is going to help so many future families," attorney David P. Weber told CNN. "Erin Smith calls for her husband to now be entitled to the ceremony and honor to which a fallen hero and his family is entitled."

Smith died nine days following the Capitol assault. He had been struck in the head amid the riots, and shot himself to death while driving to his first day back to work nine days after the attack, CNN reported.

Smith had been a 12-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police force, and was one of four law enforcement officers who responded to the Capitol riots to die by suicide.

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