Who was Jeffrey Smith? Capitol cop who killed himself 'wasn't the same' after being hit by pole during riots
The effects of the siege left a colossal impact on the 35-year-old, after which he refused to talk to anyone and showed no interest in watching television as well
Jeffrey Smith, a cop from Washington who was one amongst the hundreds of cops who defended the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021, from an angry mob believed to be Donald Trump supporters, died by suicide a week after the siege. Smith was struck in the head with a metal pole on that day and his wife Erin Smith revealed that he was "never the same" after that day. The 35-year-old Smith suffered the blow around 5:35 pm when a rioter tossed the pole that hit his face and helmet, according to a report.
Smith visited the police medical clinic after the mob dispersed and was put on sick leave and sent home with pain medication, Erin revealed in a chat with the Washington Post on Friday. She told the outlet that her husband was in constant pain and found it impossible to turn his head, in the days that followed. Smith remained confined in his home and did not leave, not even to walk their dog. The effects of the siege left a colossal impact on him after which he refused to talk to anyone and showed no interest in watching television as well. Erin revealed that she woke up quite a few times in the middle of the night to find her husband sitting up in bed or pacing.
“He wasn’t the same Jeff that left on the 6th. . . . I just tried to comfort him and let him know that I loved him,” Erin told the outlet. “I told him I’d be there if he needed anything, that no matter what, we’ll get through it. I tried to do the best I could," she added. Smith had sent a text to his wife that spoke volumes of the fear he experienced on the day of the Insurrection. "London is falling," he typed on his phone and sent the message to his wife knowing she would understand that he was trying to tell her about the attack happening in real-time referencing the movie. Erin was watching the live stream of the Capitol being overrun from home and six minutes after receiving the text, a Capitol police officer inside the building shot and killed Ashley Babbit after she tried to enter the House chamber through a smashed window.
Smith later told Erin that he didn't hear the gunshot but heard the "shots fired" call over his police radio. He told her that he panicked and was afraid that the rioters had opened fire on the police, and feared that he might die.
Smith was ordered back to work on January 14, after a follow-up appointment at the police clinic. Erin revealed that her husband didn't sleep a wink the night prior. He left for work for an overnight shift the next afternoon and on his way to work, Smith shot himself in the head. Police discovered his body in his Ford Mustang that was parked overlooking the Potomac River.