WASHINGTON – Nearly two months after the riot at the U.S. Capitol and the death of police Officer Brian Sicknick, information remains scarce about how he died or the precise circumstances that led to his death.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday that there were conflicting reports about Sicknick's cause of death. Grassley asked whether the cause had been determined and whether there was a homicide investigation.
"We all want to know what happened to Officer Brian Sicknick," Grassley said.
Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee there is an investigation, but he couldn't say whether a cause of death has been determined. Wray noted that the investigation is of great interest because Sicknick protected lawmakers in the Capitol.
"There is an ongoing investigation into his death," Wray said. "We're not at a point where we can disclose or confirm the cause of death."
But nearly two months after his death, details about what happened to the officer are scant. Here's what we know and don't know.
He died in the line of duty
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman confirmed Feb. 25 for the House Appropriations legislative branch subcommittee that Sicknick’s death was in the “line of duty." She is scheduled to testify again Wednesday before the full committee.
Sicknick was the sixth Capitol Police officer to die in the line of duty. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said his death would be investigated jointly by the FBI and D.C. Metropolitan Police, and that the Justice Department "will spare no resources in investigating and holding accountable those responsible.”
No autopsy results released yet
The District of Columbia’s medical examiner hasn’t released autopsy results yet. The results on the manner of death are typically released within 90 days, but can sometimes take longer “for cases that are more complex."
Capitol Police issued a statement Friday that said the department was awaiting toxicology results and continued to work with other government agencies on the case.
Representatives for Sicknick's family and Capitol Police didn't respond Tuesday to requests for comment.
He 'collapsed' after getting injured while engaging rioters
The agency announced Jan. 7 – the day after the riot – that Sicknick had responded to the attack and “was injured while physically engaging with protesters.”
“He returned to his division office and collapsed,” the statement said. “He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
About 140 officers were injured during the riot, suffering head and back injuries, gouged eyes and severed fingers. Security video played at the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump showed officers beaten, trampled and at least one crushed in a door.
His specific injuries remain unpublicized
Details of Sicknick's assault have remained unpublicized.
Early reports about Sicknick suggested he died after he was bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher. His father Charles Sicknick told Reuters that the officer was struck in the head and sprayed with pepper spray.
“He ended up with a clot on the brain,” the elder Sicknick said. “If they had operated on him, he would’ve become a vegetable.”
But the New York Times reported Sunday that there was no evidence Sicknick suffered blunt force trauma, but that he could have suffered an adverse reaction to bear spray used by rioters. The paper said authorities have identified an assailant, but not publicly named the person.
Nobody has been charged with assaulting Sicknick.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brian Sicknick: FBI, Capitol Police mum on officer's death in riots