(CNN) Federal authorities have narrowed to a handful the number of suspects in the death of US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a US official briefed on the probe said Wednesday, raising hopes that investigators can bring charges in the case.
New video evidence from the US Capitol on January 6 has aided the work of the FBI and prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, in what the official says investigators continue to view as a complicated and difficult case.
One leading theory that investigators are considering is that the suspects sprayed an irritant, perhaps bear spray, that caused Sicknick to suffer a fatal reaction, the official said and CNN has previously reported.
In police audio played at former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial Wednesday, officers could be heard screaming during the attack that some members of the violent Capitol mob were spraying them with bear spray. And Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters Wednesday that Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman had indicated to him that “he had to breathe a lot of bear spray and tear gas and that he was nauseated” while serving on January 6. The pair had spoken during a break in the trial.
Sicknick, a 13-year veteran of the police force, died on January 7, one day after he collapsed in his office after being “injured while physically engaging with protestors,” the Capitol Police said in a statement last month.
Investigators have struggled for weeks to build a federal murder case in Sicknick’s death as they pored over video and photographs to try to determine the moment when he suffered his fatal injuries. Investigators have determined that initial reports suggesting Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher aren’t true, CNN previously reported.
More than 100 other police officers were injured in the melee last month, including at least 15 officers who required hospitalization, according to court documents.
Several people have been charged with assaulting police officers in the weeks since, but none so far in relation to Sicknick. Read from source….