In a news release, the Capitol Police says Sicknick was injured “while physically engaging with protesters” on Wednesday. He later returned to his division office and collapsed, the statement says.
The release provided no further details on how Sicknick was injured, but the New York Times reports by way of sources that he was struck with a fire extinguisher during the melee. Exactly when and where this happened isn’t clear, but the newspaper notes that photos emerged on Wednesday of a man spraying a fire extinguisher inside the Capitol, just outside the Senate chamber, with officers looking on from a stairway.
Sicknick, who joined the Capitol Police in 2008, was 42 and the youngest of three siblings, reports ABC News. “After a day of fighting for his life, he passed away a hero,” a brother says in a statement. “I would like to thank all of his brothers and sisters in law enforcement for the incredible compassion and support they have shown my family,” he adds.
Sicknick is only the fourth officer to die in the line of duty in the long history of the Capitol Police. He is the fifth fatality from the riots. One of the people who entered the Capitol, Ashli Babbitt, was shot to death by a Capitol Police officer. Three other deaths were attributed to medical emergencies: Benjamin Philips, 50; Roseanne Boyland, 34; and Kevin Greeson, 55, per BuzzFeed. Greeson’s wife says her husband had a heart attack.
Condolences from big names were pouring in, and KIRO7 rounds them up. Two of note: GOP Rep. Peter Meijer wrote that “it didn’t have to be this way. Now five people have died, including Officer Sicknick. There are so many who should feel utterly ashamed if they were capable.” And Sen. Ted Cruz called Sicknick’s death “devastating” and described the riots as a “horrific assault on our democracy.”
1 : a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission : bow
2 : acknowledgment of another's superiority or importance : homage
Did You Know?
When it first appeared in English in the 14th century, obeisance shared the same meaning as obedience. This makes sense given that obeisance can be traced back to the Anglo-French obeir, a verb meaning "to obey" that is also an ancestor of English's obey. The other senses of obeisance also date from the 14th century, but they have stood the test of time whereas the "obedience" sense is now obsolete.