House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (L), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (C) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) honor U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on February 3. File photo by Demetrius Freeman/UPI/Pool | License Photo
April 19 (UPI) -- Brian Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who died a day after supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the landmark, succumbed to fatal strokes, a medical official ruled Monday.
The District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Sicknick died of natural causes in the hours after the attack on the Capitol rather than as a direct result of injuries inflicted by Trump's supporters during the Jan. 6 siege, The Washington Post reported.
D.C. Medical Examiner Francisco Diaz told the newspaper an autopsy conducted on Sicknick revealed he had suffered two strokes caused by a clot in an artery that supplies blood to the brain.
Diaz also said he found no evidence that the 42-year-old officer died from having chemical irritants sprayed on him by protesters, or from any other internal or external injuries.
Capitol Police said Sicknick collapsed upon his return to headquarters after the riot and died at a hospital about eight hours later.
Two men, Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Penn., and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, W.Va., are accused of using bear spray to attack Sicknick during the riot. They are charged with conspiracy to injure an officer, assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon, civil disorder as well as other charges.
The medical examiner's findings, however, make it less likely the pair will also face homicide charges.
In a statement issued Monday, Capitol Police officials said that while they "accepted" the medical examiner's findings, the determination does not "change the fact Officer Brian Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol."
The department "will continue to ensure those responsible for the assault against officers are held accountable," they said.
Members of Congress honored Sicknick during a Feb. 3 memorial ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Afterward, his remains were taken by ceremonial motorcade across the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery.
The hearse carrying the remains of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick moves through two rows of saluting Capitol Police officers after his funeral service Wednesday, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo