Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died from natural causes after suffering two strokes following riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, a medical examiner in Washington, D.C. said on Monday.
According to The Washington Post, medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz said that an autopsy showed no evidence that Sicknick suffered any internal or external injuries. There was also no evidence that Sicknick, 42, had an allergic reaction to any of the chemical irritants that were dispersed during the Capitol melee.
The report undercuts some of the early claims about Sicknick’s cause of death, including an allegation that House Democrats made at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in February.
The New York Times reported on Jan. 8 that two unnamed law enforcement officials said Sicknick died after being hit with a fire extinguisher. House Democrats cited the report as part of its case to impeach Trump on charges that he cited an insurrection at the Capitol.
“The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” the Democrats wrote in a memo for the impeachment proceedings.
There has also been speculation that Sicknick died from a reaction to bear spray that was dispensed at the Capitol. Federal prosecutors charged two men last month with hitting Sicknick and several other police officers with the chemical irritant outside the Capitol.
Diaz’s ruling appears to rule out bear spray as a cause of death.
Sicknick died hours after collapsing in his office following a series of confrontations with rioters who stormed the Capitol to protest the 2020 election results.
Four other people, all supporters of President Donald Trump, died at the Capitol. Three people died following medical emergencies. Ashli Babbitt, a 15-year Air Force veteran, died after being shot by a Capitol police officer while attempting to enter a barricaded section of the building.
Prosecutors said last week that they will not seek charges against the officer, who has not been identified.
According to The Post, Diaz determined that Sicknick suffered two strokes at the base of his brain. While Diaz did not attribute any specific event to Sicknick’s death, he determined that everything that transpired at the Capitol “played a role in his condition.”
The Washington, D.C. medical examiner’s office did not respond to a request for additional comment.
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