Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes, it was ruled Monday. The District’s chief medical examiner said he suffered two strokes and died of natural causes
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes after suffering two strokes following the Capitol riots, a medical examiner has ruled.
The District of Columbia’s chief medical examiner announced the 42-year-old officer’s cause of death on Monday.
Sicknick died a day after he was sprayed with a chemical irritant in his encounter with rioters during the deadly January 6 insurrection.
There was initial speculation that he had been struck by a fire extinguisher but that was later disproven.
His official cause of death, according to the medical examiner, is acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis.
It means he suffered two devastating strokes in his brain stem causes to a clot in an artery.
His manner of death was ruled ‘natural’, which is used when a disease alone causes the death. The examiner’s office clarified that the manner of death is not considered natural if it is hastened by an injury.
Sicknick had been sprayed with a chemical substance outside the US Capitol at about 2.20pm on the day of the riots.
He returned to his division office that evening and collapsed at about 10pm. Police initially said that he had been injured while engaging with protesters.
He was rushed to hospital and placed on a ventilator but died at about 9.30pm the following night.
Footage has emerged showing the moment a man identified as Julian Khater allegedly deployed bear spray at Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick during the January 6 insurrection
Sicknick is seen rubbing his face after he was struck by bear spray during the riots. Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz, however, found no evidence that Sicknick suffered any adverse reactions to chemical irritants that he was sprayed with
In one of the videos, a man identified as Khater could be seen deploying a stream of liquid in the direction of Sicknick, who turns and runs for cover, holding his hands over his eyes with an agonized expression
Two men had been accused of spraying Sicknick with a chemical irritant during the riot.
Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz, however, found no evidence that Sicknick suffered any adverse reactions to chemical irritants that he was sprayed with by some of the rioters.
Early reports had suggested that Sicknick had been struck over the head by a fire extinguisher during the chaos but in the weeks after the attack new information emerged disputing that narrative.
Sicknick’s brother, Ken Sicknick, told ProPublica that the officer texted him on the night of the riots and said he had been ‘pepper-sprayed’ but was in ‘good shape’.
Ken said his brother’s condition rapidly deteriorated over the next 24 hours before he was intubated and treated for a blood clot and a stroke. He died at about 9.30pm on January 7, Ken said.
George Pierre Tanios (left and right) is facing multiple criminal counts, including assaulting police with a deadly weapon and obstructing an official proceeding after allegedly spraying Sicknick withan irritant
Sicknick’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, spoke to DailyMail.com last month and said she believes her son suffered a fatal stroke.
‘We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,’ she said.
She said the family has been largely left in the dark about the investigation into Sicknick’s death, adding: ‘We’d love to know what happened.’
The two men accused of spraying the irritant at Sicknick, George Pierre Tanios and Julian Elie Khater, were arrested and are facing multiple felony charges, including assaulting police with a deadly weapon.
No murder charges were ever filed in Sicknick’s death.
The New York Times had obtained a string of video clips that allegedly showed Tanios, Khater and Sicknick at several points before, during and after the spray incident.
In one of the videos, a man identified as Khater could be seen deploying a stream of liquid in the direction of Sicknick, who turns and runs for cover, holding his hands over his eyes with an agonized expression.