A police officer has died from injuries suffered as President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, a violent siege that is forcing hard questions about the defeated president’s remaining days in office and the ability of the Capitol Police to secure the area.
The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Officer Brian D. Sicknick was injured “while physically engaging with protesters” during the Wednesday riot. He is the fifth person to die because of the Capitol protest and violence.
During struggling at the Capitol, Sicknick, 42, was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said.
His family said in a statement Friday that Sicknick wanted to be a police officer his entire life. He served in the New Jersey Air National Guard before joining the Capitol Police in 2008.
“Many details regarding Wednesday’s events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” the family said.
New Jerset Governor Phil Murphy ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all New Jersey state buildings and facilities on Monday, in Sicknick’s honor.
In a statement, Murphy said that Sicknick “embodied the selfless spirit of his native state.”
“Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection,” said Murphy. “His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.”
The police have also identified the four other people who died during the violent pro-Trump assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday while lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election win.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, of Huntington, Maryland, was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer as she tried to break through a door inside the Capitol, officials confirmed Thursday.
The other three people — Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; and Roseanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia — died of medical emergencies, Metropolitan Police Department Police Chief Robert Contee said during a news conference Thursday.
Greeson’s son, Kyler Greeson, posted on Facebook Thursday that his father had a heart attack.
“My dad had a heart attack yesterday and sadly passed away. We all loved him so much. He made me the man I am today. Always going to car shows to support me and to enjoy the cars together. Him my brother and I would ride motorcycles together and have a great time. He was such a great man we all miss you so much. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Philips’ ex-wife, Nicole Mun, told the New York Daily News that she was married to Philips for five years, and that they have two teen children.
“I can confirm that I was married to Benjamin Philips from 1999 to 2004. Since our divorce in 2004, we have had no relationship beyond occasionally discussing the care of our two teenage children,” she wrote. “As my children are grieving and processing yesterday’s shocking events, I respectfully request privacy.”
In recent days, Boyland posted conspiracy theories about New York City first lady Chirlane McCray, advice to those heading to the Washington on Jan. 6 and tips for people suffering from depression or drug addiction. Police have not clarified how she died.
Boyland’s sisters described her as a “really happy, wonderful person” to local news outlet 11Alive News.
More than 68 rioters have been arrested.
Updated Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 8:21 pm .