In a major case breakthrough, the FBI has singled out a possible suspect on video in the fatal attack on police officer Brian Sicknick during the storming of the Capitol last month, sources have told a number of media outlets.
The 42-year-old U.S. Capitol Police officer died the following evening after apparently suffering fatal injuries while defending the building against rioting Donald Trump supporters seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election.
After a homicide investigation was launched, officials began to suspect that bear spray may have been linked to Sicknick’s death, two FBI officials told The New York Times, which was the first to report news of the possible suspect. The individual spotted on the video attacked several officers with bear spray, including Sicknick, and also discussed using the spray on police in a video, according to the Times.
An official cautioned National Public Radio that the bureau hasn’t yet identified the suspect by name, and the video does not directly link the person to Sicknick’s death.
In addition, the medical examiner’s report on Sicknick’s death has not yet been completed. “We are awaiting toxicology results and continue to work with other government agencies regarding the death investigation,” the Capitol Police said in a statement.
Chemical irritants such as bear spray, mace and pepper spray are considered “less lethal” weapons by law enforcement, but they could trigger a serious allergic reaction or more powerfully affect someone with underlying health issues.
Four other people died during the riot. Two other officers who tried to defend the Capitol later died by suicide. At least 138 police officers suffered injuries.
More than 300 people have been charged in the insurrection as of Thursday, and some 280 have been arrested, acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin said Friday.
The Department of Justice did not comment on the information about the possible suspect in Sicknick’s death.