The police officer who died following the attack on the US Capitol by supporters of president Donald Trump in January was killed by two strokes, the Washington city coroner ruled Monday.
Brian Sicknick was one of five people, and the only police officer, who died in direct connection to the January 6 insurrection, when hundreds of pro-Trump rioters attacked and overran police to force their way into the seat of US government, shutting the building down.
Initial reports, later ruled incorrect, said Sicknick had been hit by a fire extinguisher. Later reports tied his death to being sprayed with chemical irritants like bear spray or pepper spray.
But the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Monday that Sicknick, 42, had died from "natural" causes.
The official report attributed the Capitol Police officer's death to "acute brainstem and cerebellar infarcts due to acute basilar artery thrombosis" -- a particularly devastating form of stroke with a high death rate, caused by blockages in the brain.
It noted that he had been sprayed with a chemical substance at about 2:20 pm during the assault on Congress. At 10:00 pm, he collapsed at the Capitl and was taken to the hospital. Almost 24 hours later he died while still in the hospital.a