Officer Brian Sicknick’s death could have been caused by bear spray, investigators believe

Authorities have made no arrests in the killing but say they have narrowed down suspects

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 12 February 2021 01:26 GMT
Nancy Pelosi commemorates fallen officer Brian Sicknick

Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick’s death may have been caused by a fatal reaction to bear spray, federal investigators believe.

Officer Sicknick died the day after pro-Trump rioters attacked the US Capitol as lawmakers tried to certify Joe Biden’s election win.

One theory being investigated by authorities is that he may have been hit with bear mace or another chemical irritant sprayed by the rioters during the mayhem and suffered the reaction, according to CNN.

He was on duty as rioters breached the Capitol on 6 January and was “injured while physically engaging with protesters,” his department has said.

In police audio played during Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, officers could be heard screaming that they were being attacked with bear spray.

Senator Mitt Romney has also said that Officer Eugene Goodman, who helped lure the mob away from lawmakers inside the Capitol, had told him "he had to breathe a lot of bear spray and tear gas and that he was nauseated" during the attack.

Officer Sicknick, a 13-year veteran on the force, lay in honour at the Capitol Building last week where Joe Biden and the first lady paid their respects.

More than 100 police officers were injured in the violence, including at least 15 who were hospitalised with their injuries.

The violence killed five people, including a female rioter who was shot by law enforcement, and at least two police officers have died by suicide in its wake.

No one has yet been charged in the killing of Office Sicknick but federal authorities have narrowed down a number of suspects, CNN reports. 

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in