WASHINGTON - The D.C. medical examiner’s office has released its findings regarding the cause of death of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick.
According to the medical examiner’s office, Sicknick’s death was "natural," and that he suffered a stroke.
Officially, the cause of death was "acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis."
They say the Sicknick was sprayed with a chemical outside the Capitol around 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 6, and that he collapsed around 10 p.m. before being taken to a local hospital.
Sicknick died the next day around 9:30 p.m.
Sicknick was one of five people who died during the Capitol riot incident.
Two men have been charged with assaulting Sicknick during the riot, spraying him with bear spray. Investigators initially believed he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to two people familiar with the case.
The rioters advanced on the Capitol following a speech in which then-President Donald Trump reiterated claims that the results of the 2020 election were fraudulent.
Capitol police provided the following statement following the Medical Examiner's report:
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report