Medical examiner says Capitol Police officer Sicknick died of natural causes

Capitol Riots

FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo a placard is displayed with an image of the late U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick on it as people wait for an urn with his cremated remains to be carried into the U.S. Capitol to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington. Federal investigators probing the death Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer killed in the Jan. 6 riot, have zeroed in on a suspect seen on video appearing to spray a chemical substance on the officer before he later collapsed and died, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The District of Columbia’s chief medical examiner has ruled that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick had two strokes and died of natural causes, after he tussled with a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

The medical examiner’s office said on Monday that the 42-year-old officer’s cause of death was natural causes after he suffered a stroke. He died the day after the Jan. 6 violence.

The findings mean it will be hard for federal prosecutors to bring homicide charges in connection with Sicknick’s death.

The Capitol Police issued a statement after the announcement saying it did “not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.

Two men – George Tanios and Julian Khater – are facing charges they assaulted three police officers, including Sicknick, by spraying them with a chemical irritant on Jan. 6.

The Washington Post first reported the medical examiner’s ruling.

Read the full statement from Capitol Police

The USCP accepts the findings from the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes. This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.

The Department continues to mourn the loss of our beloved colleague. The attack on our officers, including Brian, was an attack on our democracy.

Working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the F.B.I.’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department, the USCP will continue to ensure those responsible for the assault against officers are held accountable.

Officer Sicknick, 42, joined the Department in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit.

On March 14, Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were arrested for assaulting Officer Sicknick.

Khater and Tanios are each charged with one count of conspiracy to injure an officer; three counts of assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon; one count of civil disorder; one count of obstructing or impeding an official proceeding; one count of physical violence on restricted grounds, while carrying dangerous weapon and resulting in significant bodily injury; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct, act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.

The United States Capitol Police will never forget Officer Sicknick’s bravery, nor the bravery of any officer on January 6, who risked their lives to defend our democracy.

Officer Sicknick’s family requests their privacy be respected during this difficult time.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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