Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after he confronted rioters during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C.
What are the details?
The Washington Post reported that medical examiner Francisco Diaz "said the autopsy found no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick's throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries."
The newspaper noted that "the ruling, released Monday, likely will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer's death."
The publicly disclosed timeline of events shows that Sicknick was sprayed with a chemical substance outside the U.S. Capitol around 2:20 p.m. Jan. 6. After returning to his office around 10 p.m. that evening, the officer collapsed and was transported to a local hospital.
Sicknick died the next day at about 9:30 p.m.
The Washington Examiner pointed out that the Capitol Police said in January that "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."
Following the release of the medical examiner's report, the Capitol Police issued a statement saying the department accepts the findings "but this does not change the fact Officer Brian Sicknick died in the Line of Duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol," NBC News reported.
As TheBlaze previously reported:
Initial reports suggested that Sicknick had died from blunt force trauma after being struck by a fire extinguisher, but later reporting revealed that medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma.
Experts then theorized that Sicknick might have had an adverse reaction to being sprayed with bear spray by rioters, according to the Associated Press.
Two men were arrested last month and charged with assaulting Sicknick and other Capitol Police officers after they were allegedly seen on video spraying officers during the Jan. 6 attack, but the suspects, Julian Khater, 32, and George Tanios, 39, were not charged in connection with Sicknick's death.
Fox News reported that "Sicknick was one of five people who died after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the electoral count that certified Joe Biden as the victor of the November election."