The Capitol Police officer killed in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday was an Air National Guard veteran with multiple overseas deployments, military officials confirmed on Friday.
Brian Sicknick, a former staff sergeant with the New Jersey Air National Guard, died Thursday evening from injuries sustained while responding to the attack at the Capitol a day earlier. U.S. Capitol Police officials said he was hurt “while physically engaging with protesters.”
The death is under investigation by Washington, D.C. police and federal law enforcement officials. At least five deaths have been connected to the assault, where hundreds of individuals who had been attending a pro-Trump rally earlier in the day attacked security officials around the Capitol building in an effort to disrupt congressional certification of the November presidential election results.
In a statement, New Jersey Air National Guard officials said they were saddened by the loss and offered condolences to his family. “Staff Sgt Sicknick’s commitment to service and protect his community, state, and nation will never be forgotten.”
Sicknick served in the Guard from 1997 to 2003. Officials said he served on the 108th Security Forces Squadron, 108th Wing based out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
Sicknick, 42, deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1999 in support of Operation Southern Watch and Kyrgyzstan in 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He had served on the Capitol Police force since 2008, and recently was assigned to the department’s First Responder’s Unit. Officials have not released specifics on the circumstances surrounding his death.
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On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the Capitol campus to be flown at half-staff in honor of Sicknick. Several lawmakers have also called for Sicknick to be allowed to lie in honor at the Capitol, as a way to recognize his sacrifice on behalf of the country.
Sicknick is at least the second veteran to be killed in Wednesday’s riots. Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year old who served in the Air Force, was shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to force her way into the House chamber.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced this week he will resign on Jan. 16 in response to security failures related to the attack. More than 50 law enforcement officials were injured responding to the violence through the building.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.