A Capitol police statement said Officer Brian D. Siknik died around 9:30 p.m. Thursday “due to injuries sustained while on duty.”
The death is being investigated by the Homicide Division of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police Department and their federal partners.
“Officer Siknik responded to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol and was injured while physically dealing with protesters. He returned to his office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, “the statement said.
Siknik joined the Capitol Police Department in July 2008 and recently served in the department̵
“The entire USCP department expresses its deepest sympathy for Officer Cynic’s family and friends for their loss and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague,” Capitol police said.
Siknik is the fifth person to die as a result of Wednesday’s uprising. One woman was shot and killed by Capitol police while the mob broke through the building, and three others suffered medical emergencies that proved fatal.
Shortly after 1 p.m., hundreds of protesters against Trump pushed through barriers on the perimeter of the Capitol on Wednesday, where they clashed with officers full of riot gear, some calling the officers “traitors” to do their jobs.
About 90 minutes later, police said protesters entered the building and the doors of the House and Senate were locked. Shortly afterwards, the floor of the House was evacuated by the police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the hall, where he was to play his part in the vote count.
Around 3 p.m., an armed confrontation took place at the front door of the house, and police officers pulled guns against someone who was trying to break it.
As a result of the episode, US Capitol Police Chief Stephen Sund resigned. He said in a statement earlier Thursday that Capitol police and other law enforcement officials had been “actively attacked” with metal pipes and other weapons.
“They were determined to enter the Capitol building, causing great damage,” Sund said.
“The violent attack on the US Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30s in law enforcement here in Washington,” he added. “Maintaining public safety in an open environment – especially for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge.”
However, lawmakers say they are confused by the lack of readiness among law enforcement, given that Trump has been known for weeks to promote a rally that he says aims to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified.
Representative Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who was imprisoned in the House of Commons during an armed conflict between Capitol police and riots, praised the building’s staff who put their lives in danger, but made it clear that they were more than law enforcement was prepared.
“The Capitol police I was around did an amazing job in difficult circumstances,” Quigley told CNN. “My concern was not how valiant the Capitol police were. It was that an hour before the debate began, I looked at the crowds surrounding various sections of the Capitol and said we didn’t have enough security.”
Quigley added: “I’m not a security expert, but you can say we were unmanned for an hour before the debate,” referring to Congressional procedures to certify Biden’s victory.