Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from strokes a day after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office ruled on Monday.
His death was the result of natural causes, not a homicide, and was not hastened by an injury, according to the report. Two men were charged last month with assaulting Sicknick with bear spray, although no homicide charges were filed. The latest report will likely make it more difficult for federal prosecutors to pursue such charges related to Sicknick’s death.
Sicknick, 42, was one of five people whose deaths have been linked to the attack, although his cause of death had been elusive for weeks. Initial news reports that said Sicknick was assaulted with a fire extinguisher and suffered blunt force trauma were later revealed to be untrue.
A native of South River, N.J., Sicknick had returned to Capitol Police headquarters after the attack, when he collapsed and was admitted to the hospital. He died the next day.
The day after the attack, Capitol Police said that Sicknick, who joined the force in 2008, “was injured while physically engaging with protesters.”
In a statement on Monday, Capitol Police said it accepted the findings from the medical examiner’s office.
“This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol,” it said.