SOUTH RIVER, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy mourned the death of New Jersey native Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Hill police officer who was killed during Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Donald Trump supporters, - during his visit to the Historic Somerset County Courthouse and during a visit to the opening of a Morris County clinic in a former department store where COVID-19 vaccinations will be administered.
The 42-year-old Sicknick lived in Virginia, but grew up in South River, NJ. He attended the Middlesex County Vocational & Technical High School in East Brunswick and later was a member of the New Jersey National Guard attached to the 108th Refueling Wing based at McGuire Air Force Base. He deployed overseas twice during his time in the Air Force to Saudi Arabia in 1999 and Kyrgyzstan in 2003.
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) issued a statement announcing his death:
At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty.
Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners. Officer Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008, and most recently served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit.
The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague. We ask that Officer Sicknick’s family, and other USCP officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this time.
"Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state... (He) gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection," Murphy said. "His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.”
"We are all shocked and all hurt by this. South River is a small community, we know each other and if we don't, we know the family," said South River Mayor John Krenzel. "We offer our condolences and also ask how can we help."
The mayor went on to describe the Sicknick family as "good people, the salt of the earth."
"I am very saddened to learn of the death of Officer Brian Sicknick who gave his life protecting the U.S. Capitol during Wednesday’s violent riots. He is a hero who died in the line of duty. I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends and thank him for his service," said State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex).
“On behalf of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization, I would like to extend my condolences and my prayers to the family of Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died in the senseless violence at the Capitol Complex," said Middlesex County Democratic Chair Kevin P. McCabe. "Officer Sicknick was a South River native who dedicated his life to keeping the peace and protecting our elected leaders. His death at the hands of those who disrespect our democratic ideals is unconscionable and those who are responsible must be held accountable."
Various news reports say that Sicknick was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher during the three-hour melee inside the Capitol building, and collapsed later in the day. He was hospitalized, but died around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. His death will be investigated by the homicide branch of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police, and federal investigators. Prosecutors are considering filing federal charges in connection with Officer Sicknick's death.
Officer Brian Sicknick died after defending US Capitol against rioting mob. Keep his family, friends, and fellow officers in your thoughts and prayers." -- New Jersey State PBA @NJSPBA
The White House also released a statement Friday:
"Anytime a member of law enforcement dies in the line of duty it is a solemn reminder to us all that they run toward danger to maintain peace," White House spokesman Judd Deere said. "The President and the entire Administration extend our prayers to Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick's family as we all grieve the loss of this American hero."