Brian D. Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who died while “physically engaging with protesters” at the violent riots in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, was an Iraq War veteran in his early 40s, according to local media.
Sicknick, who joined the Capitol police in 2008 and most recently served in the department’s first responder unit, died at about 9:30 p.m. on January 7 “due to injuries sustained while on duty,” according to a police statement.
“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.
“The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the U.S. Capitol Police and our federal partners,” the statement said.
Sicknick was placed on life support in hospital after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher wielded by a protester at the Capitol on Wednesday, according to a tweet by reporter Alexandra Limon.
His family rushed to the hospital where they were informed Sicknick was on a ventilator with a blood clot on his brain and that “it did not look good,” the officer’s brother, Craig Sicknick, told the Daily Beast.
Sicknick was a former Air National Guardsman who served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Enduring Freedom before joining the police force, according to his brother.
He was reported to have often written letters to the editor of Central New Jersey Home News, according to tweets by Marcus Baram, a New York City-based investigative journalist.
Sicknick, whose letters said he lived in the New Jersey borough of South River, criticized the Iraq War and the George W. Bush administration in a 2003 letter published by the local newspaper.
“With an unnecessary war taking place and other major problems going on in this country, there is no room for blatantly partisan politics,” he wrote, according to Baram.
“This is just another poor example of the Bush administration that has its hands grasped firmly on the puppet strings of conservative senators,” Sicknick wrote.
In another letter to the editor, Sicknick denounced the government’s lack of support for veterans, stating: “I am no longer going to risk my life in hostile environments around the globe for a government that does not care about the troops,” according to Baram.
Sicknick’s death was the fifth fatality in connection with the riots, in which supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Protester Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, a 35-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, died after being shot by a Capitol police officer.
Three others—Rosanne Boyland, 34, from Kennesaw, Georgia; Kevin Greeson, 55, from Athens, Alabama; and Benjamin Phillips, 50, from Ringtown, Pennsylvania—suffered “separate medical emergencies which resulted in their deaths,” according to Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department.