A U.S. Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, has died of injuries suffered when protesters assaulted the legislative building, the force said, bringing to five the number dead from the riot.
Wednesday’s breach of the U.S. Capitol building followed a pro-Trump rally, unfolding as lawmakers were in the building certifying the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
Capitol Police denied early reports of Sicknick’s death Thursday, but issued a statement later confirming his passing:
“At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty. 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 joined the USCP in July 2008, and was serving in the First Responder’s Unit.
His death “will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners,” the statement added.
Separately, on Thursday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said in a resignation letter that he would step down effective Jan. 16.
Sund’s resignation was sought by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the federal force charged with protecting Congress was unable to keep Trump’s supporters from storming the Capitol on Wednesday.
Trump, who initially praised his supporters, later condemned the violence, saying the rioters had defiled the seat of American democracy and must be held accountable. A woman demonstrator was fatally shot by authorities, and three people died from medical emergencies.
After a rally where Trump exhorted his supporters to fight to overturn the Nov. 3 election he lost, hundreds of people stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing senators and members of the House of Representatives to evacuate as they smashed windows and looted.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned on Thursday, joining a growing list of aides leaving Trump’s administration in protest at the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
As Democrat leaders demanded his ouster, Trump came closer to a formal concession, acknowledging in a video released on Thursday evening that a new administration would be sworn in on Jan. 20 and vowing to ensure a smooth transition.