Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick Died of Natural Causes But Riot 'Played a Role': Medical Examiner

Officer Brian Sicknick is one of five people who died in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection

Brian Sicknick The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Officer Brian D. Sicknick was injured "while physically engaging with protesters" during the riot
Brian Sicknick. Photo: Brian Sicknick Facebook

Three months after U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died after the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, his cause of death has been revealed.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that 42-year-old Sicknick's cause of death was "acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis," and ruled that his manner of death was "natural," according to a Monday release obtained by PEOPLE.

Medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz explained to The Washington Post that Sicknick suffered two strokes that had been caused by a blood clot. He added that "all that transpired" on the day of the insurrection "played a role in his condition."

Included in the release was a timeline of events on Jan. 6. that led to Sicknick's death.

Capitol building coup
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump in January. Samuel Corum/Getty

The officer was "sprayed with a chemical substance outside the U.S. Capitol" at approximately 2:20 p.m., and collapsed at the U.S. Capitol nearly 8 hours later at 10 p.m., when he was transported by D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services to a local hospital.

Sicknick died at the hospital the next day at 9:30 p.m. In announcing his death, U.S. Capitol Police said Sicknick had been "injured while physically engaging with protesters" and died "due to injuries sustained while on-duty," though the assertion was made before Sicknick's autopsy was completed.

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Last month, two men were charged with assaulting Sicknick and accused of spraying the officer with bear spray.

Sicknick's death marked one of five fatalities in connection to the insurrection, in which Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and vandalized offices as lawmakers gathered to certify electoral college votes for President Joe Biden's November election win.

Sicknick was honored in February with a ceremony at the Capitol that was attended by Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

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