WASHINGTON – U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from strokes a day after the Jan. 6 insurrection, the D.C. medical examiner ruled Monday.
The chief medical examiner, Francisco Diaz, ruled the death from natural causes rather than a homicide committed by another person. Diaz found that Sicknick, 42, died from “acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis.”
Diaz released a timeline saying Sicknick was sprayed about 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 6, collapsed about 10 p.m. and then died at a hospital about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7.
The cause of Sicknick’s death was of great interest to legal authorities and lawmakers, as he was one of five people associated with the riot who died.
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman had said Sicknick died in the line of duty.
Capitol Police announced Jan. 7 – the day after the riot – that Sicknick responded to the attack and “was injured while physically engaging with protesters.”
“He returned to his division office and collapsed,” the statement said. “He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
About 140 officers were injured during the riot, suffering head and back injuries, gouged eyes and severed fingers. Security video played at the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump showed officers beaten, trampled and at least one crushed in a door.
Two men have been charged with assaulting Sicknick by allegedly spraying him with a chemical, but not with his death. Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were each charged with nine counts, including three counts of assaulting an officer of the United States with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to injure an officer and physical violence on restricted grounds.
Each assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Four others died the day of the riot, one after being shot by police, two from natural causes and one from an accidental drug overdose.