The cause of death isn’t yet clear for U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, the agency said on Feb. 26.
“The medical examiner’s report on Officer Brian Sicknick’s death, which followed the attack on the Capitol on January 6, is not yet complete. We are awaiting toxicology results and continue to work with other government agencies regarding the death investigation,” the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.
“Officer Sicknick’s family has asked for privacy during this difficult time and that the spreading of misinformation stop regarding the cause of his death. The Department and the Sicknick family appreciate the outpouring of support for our fallen officer.”
Sicknick, 42, died on Jan. 7, the day after the breach of the U.S. Capitol in Washington during a joint session of Congress.
The Capitol Police originally said Sicknick was “injured while physically engaging with protesters” before returning to a division office and collapsing. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was said to have succumbed to his injuries.
Citing anonymous sources, news outlets had reported that Sicknick was struck on the head. House Democrats promoted the claims during the second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump. But Sicknick’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, recently rebutted the claims.
“He wasn’t hit on the head, no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,” she said on Feb. 22. “We’d love to know what happened.”
The death is being investigated by Washington police officers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Two other officers also died after the Jan. 6 events. Both Howard Liebengood, a Capitol officer, and Jeffrey Smith, a Metropolitan Police Department officer, committed suicide.
More than 100 officers suffered injuries on Jan. 6, officials have said. Injuries stemmed from being beaten by rioters and trying to corral unruly protesters, among other incidents. Over 250 people have been charged for crimes related to the Capitol breach.
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told lawmakers in a hearing last week that officers faced operational challenges officials are working on addressing, but “to stop a mob of tens of thousands requires more than a police force, it requires physical infrastructure or a regiment of soldiers.”
Sicknick’s family in January called on people not to politicize his death.
“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,” Ken Sicknick, the man’s brother, said in a statement at the time. “Please honor Brian’s life and service, and respect our privacy while we move forward in doing the same.”