A U.S. Capitol Police officer died Thursday night from injuries sustained while engaging with pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol the day before, the fifth death connected to the violent clash that has resulted in high-profile resignations of federal officials and amplified calls for another impeachment of President Trump.
Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who joined the department in 2008 and most recently served in its First Responder’s Unit, died about 9:30 p.m at a D.C. hospital, according to a statement from the Capitol Police, whose chief resigned in the wake of an incident that has rocked the nation.
“Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters,” the police said in a statement. “He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Capitol Police said Sicknick’s death will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department and federal authorities.
Sicknick is just the fourth member of the force killed in the line of duty since it was organized two centuries ago.
Four other deaths were connected to Wednesday’s Capitol assault, including a 35-year-old woman fatally shot by another Capitol Police officer after she and others attempted to break down a barricaded door inside the building. Three others died following medical emergencies.
At least 80 arrests were made in connection to the unrest at the building, which began as a nearby rally of pro-Trump supporters protesting that afternoon’s electoral count at the Capitol but devolved into a riot as the demonstrators stormed the building steps and violently made their way inside.
President-elect Joe Biden lambasted the demonstrators at the Capitol, calling those who pushed into the building a “riotous mob,” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for Trump to be removed or impeached even though his term ends in 12 days.
Pelosi, with the support of other Capitol Hill lawmakers, are considering calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump’s ouster.
In a video statement Thursday, Trump disavowed the violence at the Capitol, one day after calling the rioters “very special.”
“To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country,” Trump said. “And to those who broke the law, you will pay.”
Trump also acknowledged for the first time that Biden will be president on Jan. 20, speaking about the need for reconciliation and healing and promising a peaceful transition of power to the Biden administration.
“We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high,” he said. “But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America.”
Dorothy Rowley contributed to this story.