By Chuck Ross
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday refused to disclose the cause of death of police officer Brian Sicknick during the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, citing an ongoing investigation.
“There is an ongoing investigation into his death. I have to be careful at this stage, because it’s ongoing, not to get out in front of it,” Wray said in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when asked about Sicknick’s death.
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There have been conflicting reports about how Sicknick died.
Shortly after the riots, news outlets reported that he died after being hit with a fire extinguisher during the riots, in which four other people died. But last month, law enforcement sources told news outlets that Sicknick may have died after coming into contact with bear spray.
Wray declined to say whether the investigation is a homicide investigation. Wray also gave vague answers when asked if investigators have determined a cause of death for Sicknick, an Afghanistan war veteran who joined the Capitol police force in 2008.
“So does that mean since the investigation is going on, you have not determined the exact cause of the death?” Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Wray.
“That means we can’t yet disclose cause of death at this stage,” the FBI chief said.
“But you have determined the cause of death?” Grassley asked.
“I didn’t say that,” said Wray. “We’re not at a point where we could disclose or confirm the cause of death.”
Four other people, all supporters of President Donald Trump, died during the Capitol riots.
Ashli Babbit, a 14-year Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by a police officer inside the Capitol while trying to enter a restricted area of the building. Another person was trampled during the Capitol breach, and the two others died after suffering a stroke and a heart attack.
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