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US Capitol flags flown at half-staff for fallen officer

Prosecutors intend to launch a federal murder investigation into Officer Brian Sicknick’s death

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Officer Brian Sicknick

Jack Gruber, USA Today via Twitter

By Larry McShane
New York Daily News

WASHINGTON — Officer Brian Sicknick, mortally wounded by a fire extinguisher to the head while defending the U.S. Capitol from rioters, was a true American patriot: An Iraq War veteran, unafraid to question his country’s leaders.

Sicknick, a 42-year-old New Jersey native, passed away around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, one day after he was attacked by rioters who invaded the Capitol following an incendiary speech by President Trump.

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Officer Brian Sicknick

Officer Down Memorial Page

Flags at the Capitol flew at half-staff Friday to honor Sicknick, who joined the Capitol Police in 2008. No arrests were yet made in the killing of the veteran law enforcer, who was injured in a scuffle with protesters.

Prosecutors were set to launch a federal murder investigation into his slaying.

Sicknick, a former Air National Guardsman, served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Enduring Freedom before joining the D.C. police force, his brother told the Daily Beast. The veteran officer collapsed Wednesday after returning to his police division office and never recovered.

“The sacrifice of Officer Sicknick reminds us of our obligation to those we serve: to protect our country from all threats foreign and domestic,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “May it be a comfort to Officer Sicknick’s family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time.”

Back in 2004, Sicknick penned a letter to his local New Jersey newspaper about the White House race between incumbent President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry.

“Bush’s foreign policies are one reason the world has become as dangerous as it is,” wrote Sicknick. “I don’t know why everyone is brainwashed that only Bush can protect us.”

The letter included two lines that rang particularly true in recent days as Trump refused to acknowledge his November defeat by Democrat Joe Biden.

“I implore everyone to vote their conscience in the upcoming presidential election,” wrote Sicknick. “No more rewarding incompetent politicians with a second term.”

Sicknick, who grew up in South River, N.J., was a graduate of the Middlesex County Vocational Technical High School in neighboring East Brunswick, N.J.

He was living in Springfield, Va., at the time of his killing.

His passing brought the number of fatalities in the riot to to five, including one protester who was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other civilianss who died during the rampage.

NEXT: Capitol police chief resigns amid criticism over response to violence

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