US Capitol Police officer dies from injuries in riot

50 police officers were injured during the riot at the US Capitol on Jan 6.
50 police officers were injured during the riot at the US Capitol on Jan 6.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, NYTIMES) - United States Capitol Police said late on Thursday (Jan 7) that a police officer named Brian Sicknick died due to injuries sustained in response to the riot at the US Capitol on Wednesday.

"Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021, at the US Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters", the police said in a statement, adding that he died on Thursday night.

"He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," the statement said.

An affiliate of CBS News reported that Mr Sicknick was a 15-year veteran of the force and 40-years-old.

The report said he had earlier suffered a stroke and was on life support before his death.

Metropolitan homicide officials will investigate the death of Mr Sicknick, who joined the US Capitol Police in 2008, along with the Capitol force and its federal partners, police said.

Separately, on Thursday, US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said in a resignation letter that he would step down effective Jan 16.

Mr Sund’s resignation was sought by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the federal force charged with protecting Congress was unable to keep Mr Trump’s supporters from storming the Capitol on Wednesday.

An angry mob of Trump supporters swarmed the barricades around the Capitol on Wednesday, spraying chemical irritants and wielding lead pipes, injuring more than 50 police officers. They battered doors, broke windows and scaled the walls, rampaging through the building as congressional leaders made desperate calls for help.

Mr Sicknick was the fifth person who died in connection to the storming of the Capitol.

A woman identified as Ms Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer, according to the city's Metropolitan Police Department chief.

Another woman and two men died during the events because of medical emergencies. They were identified as Ms Rosanne Boyland, 34; Mr Kevin Greeson, 55; and Mr Benjamin Phillips, 50.

Police said Ms Boyland, from Georgia, was "crushed" during the chaos. Her family later told Daily Mail that she was "trampled in the Rotunda" of the Capitol building.

Mr Greeson was said to have died from a heart attack, The Washington Post reported.

His wife said he had travelled to Washington from Alabama to support Mr Trump and that his death was not related to rioting.

"Kevin had a history of high blood pressure, and in the midst of the excitement, suffered a heart attack," Mrs Kristi Greeson told The Post.

Mr Phillips had travelled from Pennsylvania with fellow Trump supporters. They said police told them Mr Phillips had suffered a stroke and died at a hospital, The Post reported.