- Federal investigators have a suspect in the killing of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
- The probe was narrowed after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray.
- The assailant has not yet been publicly named by federal investigators.
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The FBI has narrowed in on a suspect in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, The New York Times reported Friday.
Sicknick was among the Capitol Police officers who defended the US Capitol against a pro-Trump mob on January 6. He succumbed to injuries sustained during the riot a day later, on January 7.
Officials initially said Sicknick was struck by a fire extinguisher, but later said there was no evidence to suggest that he died from blunt force trauma. Federal investigators then launched a probe to look into whether bear spray – a chemical irritant used by rioters during the insurrection – could instead have played a role in Sicknick’s death.
After questioning dozens of people, investigators zeroed in on a single suspect after a video showed the individual using bear spray on other officers, law enforcement officials told The Times. Another video also showed the suspect discussing plans to assault officers with bear spray, according to one of the officials.
The assailant has not yet been publicly named by federal investigators.
Christina Laury, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, had previously mentioned that rioters sprayed chemical irritants at officers who were preventing them from entering the Capitol.
“By the time I got there, officers were already getting, you know, sprayed with whatever these individuals had, which I believe they had bear mace, which is literally used for bears,” Laury told WJLA.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters earlier this month that Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman told him that he “had to breathe a lot of bear spray and tear gas and that he was nauseated” during the insurrection.
Goodman recently received a Congressional Gold Medal for his role in diverting a mob of rioters away from the Senate chamber where lawmakers were taking refuge. He also led Romney away from the crowd that breached the Capitol as he passed him in the hall.
Sicknick was one of three officers who died following the Capitol riots – two other officers died by suicide.