The U.S. Capitol Police officer who died after a violent assault liked his job.

© Reuters. 40-year-old US police officer Brian Sicknick poses in an undated photo

By Linda So.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – His first major assignment was to work on the inauguration of former President Barack Obama in 2009. Officer Brian Sicknick had just been sworn in at the US Capitol Police Department and was fulfilling a lifelong dream.

“He loved his job,” said his father Charles Sicknick in an interview with Reuters. “I’ll never get over it.”

Sicknick, 42, died Thursday night, the day after he physically teamed up with a group of supporters of President Donald Trump, who stormed the U.S. Capitol where lawmakers had just started a formal vote to win Democrat Joe Biden to be confirmed in the presidential election on November 3rd.

When the rioters overcame Capitol police, Sicknick was sprayed with pepper spray and hit in the head, his father said. Rescue workers resuscitated him twice when he was rushed to a nearby Washington hospital. Sicknick died the next day.

“He had a blood clot in his brain,” said his father. “If they had operated on him, he would have become a vegetable.”

Sicknick’s death is being investigated as murder by the Washington Metropolitan Police. The FBI is helping. As a member of the division’s First Responder’s Unit, Sicknick was the sixth U.S. Capitol Police officer to die on duty.

“His death was a waste,” said John Krenzel, the mayor of Sicknick’s hometown in South River, New Jersey. “It’s just a tragedy.”

PLAQUE AND SERVICES IN CAPITOL

Sicknick was a Trump supporter, his father said. While his parents avoided discussing politics with their son, his family said that Sicknick’s political views never interfered with his duty to protect and serve.

“He got on very well with everyone because he was a gentleman,” said the older Sicknick.

Sicknick’s father said Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the family on Friday to offer their condolences. During the call, Pelosi invited the family to the Capitol to pick a place for a plaque made in Sicknick’s honor. According to his father, funeral services are also held in the Capitol.

Before joining the Capitol Police Department in 2008, the New Jersey native served with the Air National Guard and was posted to Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan.

Trump has not publicly commented on the death of the officer or the other four people who died when his supporters overran the Capitol this week after Trump’s “Save America” ​​rally, in which the president urged supporters to fight.

“If something good comes out of my son’s death, I just hope it will stop all the madness that is going on in this country,” said his father.

Sicknick is survived by his parents, two older brothers, and his 11-year-old girlfriend.

While there are plans to cremate and retire Sicknick in a military cemetery in Arneytown, New Jersey, U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin said Saturday that she has asked Pentagon leaders to posthumously posthumously give him special honors and burials at Arlington National Cemetery to send.

Slotkin said Sicknick had confirmed the oath he swore in the military to protect and defend the constitution and that he and his family should be recognized for everything he did for his country.

A GoFundMe campaign to support Sicknick’s family exceeded their $ 250,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

“I’m supposed to die first,” said his father, who will be 82 years old next month. “Not my son.”

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