Officer Brian Sicknick of U.S. Capitol Police, End of Watch: Jan. 7, 2021

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U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick is killed in the line of duty after a mob storms the Capitol building

A silence covered the U.S. Capitol grounds on the evening of Jan. 7 as hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered on the street to honor their fallen brother in blue.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a New Jersey native, passed away on Jan. 7 after succumbing to injuries sustained the previous day while physically engaging with rioters who forcefully breached the entrances of the Capitol building. According to officials, the 42-year-old officer was struck with a fire extinguisher during the mob’s rush.

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 10: Anne Seymour, left, places an American flag at a memorial on the West Front for U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was killed by rioters Wednesday, on Sunday, January 10, 2021. A procession for Sicknick occurred on the Third Street, earlier. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sicknick, a U.S. Air Force veteran, had served with the Capitol Police since July 2008 and was most recently assigned to the first responders unit. He is only the fourth member of the force to be killed in the line of duty since its founding in 1828. His loss touched nearly every department in the country and every state that has native sons serving with the U.S. Capitol Police, including New Jersey.

“He loved his job with the U.S. Capitol Police and was very passionate about it,” Sicknick’s family shared in a statement. “The tremendous support we have received from the U.S. Capitol Police, the law enforcement community and the community as a whole has been overwhelmingly warm and generous. We’re very grateful for everyone’s kindness during this difficult time.”

Born in New Brunswick and raised in South River, Sicknick graduated from the East Brunswick campus of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School in 1996. Sicknick joined the New Jersey Air National Guard in 1997 and served until 2003, joining the U.S. Capitol Police five years later. The officer had a not-so-secret love of the New Jersey Devils.

Community members from South River, including U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, law enforcement officers and borough officials, gathered on Jan. 12 to honor their fallen brother during a quiet ceremony. Menendez presented Sicknick’s family with an American flag that had flown over the Capitol building.

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 10: A hearse carrying the body of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who was killed by rioters Wednesday, passes members of the Capitol and Metropolitan police during a procession on Third Street on Sunday, January 10, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the U.S. Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection,” Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement on Jan. 8. “His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.”

A GoFundMe campaign was launched by fellow U.S. Capitol Police Officer Lindsey Taylor to help ease financial hardship for the Sicknick family related to the death. As of Jan. 15, the original $250,000 goal had been surpassed, with a total of $703,191 contributed by 15,000 donors.

Officer Sicknick’s death is undergoing federal investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch, the U.S. Capitol Police and federal partners, according to a press release from the U.S. Capitol Police.