US Capitol Police officer dies from injuries in riot; federal homicide investigation opened

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — U.S. Capitol Police said Thursday officer Brian Sicknick died due to injuries sustained in response to the riot led by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday at the Capitol.

“Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters,” the police said.

During the melee, Sicknick, 42, was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Sicknick, an Iraq War veteran, had returned to his division office after the incident and collapsed, the statement said. He was taken to a local hospital where he died on Thursday.

His family said in a statement Friday that Sicknick wanted to be a police officer his entire life. He served in the New Jersey Air National Guard before joining the Capitol Police in 2008.

“Many details regarding Wednesday’s events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” the family said.

The death of Officer Sicknick will be jointly investigated by Washington D.C. Metro Police’s Homicide branch, the USCP and federaI agencies, according to the Capitol Police statement.

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the Justice Department “will spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible” in a statement Friday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and fellow officers of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who succumbed last night to the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol, against the violent mob who stormed it on January 6th.  The FBI and Metropolitan Police Department will jointly investigate the case and the Department of Justice will spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible.”

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen

A motorcade of police vehicles lined up in front of the Capitol, passing the Washington Monument, in the early hours of Friday to honor Sicknick.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she ordered the flags at the Capitol to be lowered at half-staff in Officer Sicknick’s honor. She said those responsible for his death “must be brought to justice.”

“The sacrifice of Officer Sicknick reminds us of our obligation to those we serve: to protect our country from all threats foreign and domestic,” Pelosi said in a statement. “May it be a comfort to Officer Sicknick’s family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time.”

Sicknick is the fifth person to die because of the melee. One protester, a white woman, was shot to death by Capitol Police, and there were dozens of arrests. Three other people died after “medical emergencies” related to the breach.

Full Statement

At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty. 

Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters.  He returned to his division office and collapsed.  He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners. 

Officer Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit. 

The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague. 

We ask that Officer Sicknick’s family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this time.

United States Capitol Police

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said news of the police officer’s death was “gut-wrenching.”

“None of this should have happened,” Sasse said in a statement. “Lord, have mercy.”

Two House Democrats on committees overseeing the Capitol police budgets said those responsible need to be held to answer for the “senseless” death.

“We must ensure that the mob who attacked the People’s House and those who instigated them are held fully accountable,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Ct., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. in a statement.

Three days before supporters of President Donald Trump rioted at the Capitol, the Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. The police turned them down both times, according to senior defense officials and two people familiar with the matter.

Despite plenty of warnings of a possible insurrection and ample resources and time to prepare, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation Thursday, following calls from top Congressional leaders. His resignation will be effective Jan. 16.

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