According to CNN, prosecutors in the US Attorney’s office plan to open a federal murder investigation into the death of Brian D. Sicknick, a US Capitol Police officer who died Thursday night.
On Wednesday, Sicknick was injured when a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol. In a statement, Capitol Police officials said that at approximately 9:30 p.m Thursday, he was pronounced dead “due to the injuries he sustained” while on duty.
The DC Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch will be investigating his death.
The statement read: “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.”
Sicknick had joined the Capitol Police in July 2008 and most recently served in the department’s First Responders 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,” Capitol Police said.
In honor of Sicknick, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags in the Capitol Building to be lowered to half-staff. As of mid-morning Friday, the flag had not yet been lowered, but the White House issued a statement about his death.
Deputy press secretary Judd Deere said, “Anytime a member of law enforcement dies in the line of duty, it is a solemn reminder to us all that they run toward danger to maintain peace. The President and the entire Administration extend our prayers to Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s family as we all grieve the loss of this American hero.”
As a result of Wednesday’s revolt, Sicknick is the fifth person to die. One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police, and three others suffered medical emergencies that proved fatal.
Shortly after 1 p.m., hundreds of pro-Trump protestors stormed through the barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol on Wednesday, where they challenged police in full riot gear, some branding the officers as “traitors” for doing their work.
About 90 minutes later, the police said that protesters had stormed the building and locked the doors to the House and Senate. Shortly after, police evacuated the house floor. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the House of Representatives, where he was expected to perform his job counting the electoral votes.
At about 3 p.m., an armed standoff took place at the front door of the House, where officers dragged their arms at those attempting to smash it.
US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he is resigning as a result of this week’s events. In a statement earlier Thursday, he claimed that metal pipes and other weapons were used to “actively attack” Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers.
“They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” Sund said.
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” he added. “Maintaining public safety in an open environment — specifically for First Amendment activities — has long been a challenge.”
Even so, lawmakers claim they are perplexed by the lack of competence among law enforcement since it had been known for weeks that Trump was organizing a rally he claimed was meant to prevent Biden’s win from being certified.
Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who was trapped in the House chamber during an armed standoff between Capitol Police and a rioter, thanked the officers who were in the building for putting their lives on the line but made clear that they were outnumbered and underprepared.
“The Capitol Police I was around did an amazing job under difficult circumstances,” Quigley told CNN. “My concern wasn’t with how valiant the Capitol Police were. It was that an hour before the debate started, I looked at the throngs of people surrounding different sections of the Capitol and said, we don’t have enough security.” He added, “I’m no expert in security, but you can tell we were out-manned in an hour before the debate,” referring to Congress’ proceedings to certify Biden’s win.