Wray can’t confirm cause of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death

During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, FBI Director Chris Wray couldn’t confirm the cause of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death. Sicknick passed away after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, but his cause of death is still unknown.

“There is an ongoing investigation into this death,” Wray told Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R, IA.”I have to be careful at this stage because it’s ongoing not to get out in front of it. But I certainly understand and respect and appreciate the keen interest in what happened to him. After all, he was here protecting all of you, and as soon as there’s information that we can appropriately share we want to be able to do that. But at the moment the investigation is still ongoing.”

On whether the FBI has determined the cause of Sicknick’s death, Wray said, “That means we can’t yet disclose a cause of death at this stage.” But when Wray was further pressed by Grassley, he said the FBI is “not at a point where we can disclose or confirm the cause of death.”

Sicknick died on January 7, but investigators have yet to release his cause of death.

Sicknick’s mother said late last month that she’s unsure of her son’s cause of death after it was first reported by many outlets that the Officer was killed by rioters who hit him in the head with a fire extinguisher.

“He wasn’t hit on the head no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,” she told The Daily Mail. “We’d love to know what happened.”

On January 8, The New York Times reported that Sicnick died as a result of the blunt force of being hit with a fire extinguisher. The paper later quietly corrected the report in a February 11 separate piece, writing: “Investigators have found little evidence to back up the attack with the fire extinguisher as the cause of death, the official said. Instead, they increasingly suspect that a factor was Officer Sicknick being sprayed in the face by some sort of irritant, like mace or bear spray, the law enforcement official said.”

RELATED: NYT corrects report on Brian Sicknick’s death

Moreover, on January 8, it was reported by ProPublica that Sicknick’s family had communicated with Officer Sicknick after he was hurt and that there was no mention of a fire extinguisher. At the time, the family was heading to Washington from New Jersey, which is Sicknick’s home state.

“He texted me last night and said, ‘I got pepper-sprayed twice,’ and he was in good shape,” Ken Sicknick, his brother, told ProPublica. “Apparently he collapsed in the Capitol and they resuscitated him using CPR.”

Sicknick was later placed on a ventilator and passed away before his family made it to the hospital to see him, according to the family.

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer