A National Guard member serving on the mission to protect the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., has died after an unspecified medical emergency, the Guard announced in a statement.
"Joint Task Force District of Columbia is sad to confirm the death of a National Guard member serving with the U.S. Capitol security mission due to an apparent medical emergency," Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a spokesman for the task force's Joint Information Center, said in the statement. "The individual was not on duty at the time, and the incident is under investigation."
Carver would not release the identity of the Guard member until next of kin have been notified.
He also would not release details about when the service member was found or how the individual was discovered.
WJLA reported that the Guard member was found at the JW Marriot Hotel.
The Pentagon on Tuesday approved a request from the U.S. Capitol Police for about 2,300 Guard members to remain for two additional months, a move that will extend the Guard's mission in D.C. to nearly six months.
About 5,000 Guard troops are currently on duty in D.C., which is down from the 26,000 Guardsmen who deployed to the city to provide security for President Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration. Local and federal law enforcement called for the massive Guard force after demonstrators supporting former President Donald Trump turned violent on Jan. 6 and stormed the Capitol as lawmakers certified Biden's Nov. 3 victory.
It took the Pentagon more than three hours to notify the D.C. Guard that it was authorized to respond to the chaotic scene at the Capitol. Since then, a special task force chaired by retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré has called for a permanent quick-reaction Guard force to be stationed in the city.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.