Demetrius Freeman / Paul / AFP via Getty Images
The Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, DC, announced on Monday that Capitol Police Officer Brian Secnick, who became involved with pro-Trump rioters during the January 6 rebellion, died of natural causes the day after the attack.
The office of the chief medical examiner, Dr. Francisco Diaz, said in a report that Sekinik died after suffering a stroke. In an interview, Diaz told … Washington Post, Who first reported the design, said that Sicknick had two strokes.
Sicknick, 42, was sprayed with a chemical outside the Capitol at around 2:20 p.m. EDT on January 6, the report said.
Diaz told the newspaper that he had not experienced any allergic reaction to chemical irritants secreted by rioters, and there was no evidence of internal or external injuries.
At around 10 p.m., Sicknick collapsed on the Capitol and was rushed to a local hospital. He died after about 24 hours.
Officials said Ceknik died a day after he was injured in the attack. The Justice Department was investigating his death as a murder.
Sicknick has been considered one of five people who died as a result of the attempted mutiny at the U.S. Capitol, as extremists – encouraged by then-President Donald Trump and his congressional aides – stormed the compound in an attempt to halt President Biden’s winning testimony in the White House.
Two men – Julian Ely Khater of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanius of Morgantown, and. Arrested Last month I allegedly sprayed a chemical on Sicknick. They are charged with conspiracy to harm officers, assaulting federal officers, and other crimes.
During the riots, the Ministry of Justice accused Khater of asking Tanios to “give me this bear ***”, which means it was a bear spray made from pepper.
After pulling a package from Tanios’ backpack, Khater moved to the front of the crowd, by the police vicinity. Then he raised his hand, directed the bomb at Seknik and two other officers who were standing a few feet away, waving his arm from side to side, according to the agency, according to a video clip.
The Ministry of Justice said that the three officers were immediately forced to retreat and “brought their hands to their faces and rushed to find water to wash their eyes.”
It was not immediately clear how the coroner’s report would affect the ongoing investigation into Sicknick’s death and how it might affect the charges arising from his alleged assault. But the official verdict of his death from natural causes is likely to make the murder charges harder to justify.
“As in all cases related to January 6, investigators will continue to assess facts and evidence against the law and press charges accordingly,” a Justice Department official told NPR.
NPR’s Ryan Lucas contributed to the report.