DRAMATIC new footage of the moment a US Capitol rioter hit an officer in the head with a fire extinguisher during Wednesday’s deadly siege has been released.
The video shows droves of incensed rioters storming past a barricade as US Capitol Police desperately try to keep them corralled on the west side of the building at about 2:30 pm, the NY Post reports.
“They broke through, it’s on!” one man is heard yelling at the start of the clip.
Moments later, a rioter throws a fire extinguisher toward a group of officers below, striking one on the helmet.
It’s unclear if the struck cop was Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42 who, died on Thursday after reportedly being hit over the head during the riots. An investigation into his death is ongoing.
Sicknick was reportedly bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher, according to The New York Times and The Associated Press, citing two law enforcement officials. A statement by the Capitol Police said he was injured and collapsed after returning to his office.
Prosecutors in the US Attorney's office plan to open a federal murder investigation into Sicknick's death, a law enforcement official told CNN.
Four other people died during the dramatic siege, including a California woman shot by Capitol Police and three others who suffered medical emergencies.
In the clip, the rioter who tossed the fire extinguisher appears to walk away after heaving it at the helmeted officers from above — with it making an audible thud as it crashes to the ground.
Seconds later, someone heaves a bullhorn at the officers as chants of “USA” bellow through the grounds.
“There’s a guy, like, dying over there,” another witness says on the clip. “They’re trying to hold him up.”
After hundreds of pro-Trump rioters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, demonstrators eventually made their way into the building and the House floor was evacuated by police.
At least 90 people as of early Monday had been arrested in Wednesday’s Capitol siege on charges ranging from misdemeanor curfew violations to felony assaults on police officers and making death threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the NY Post reports.
Police said in a statement: "Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters.
"He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
"The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners."
Tragically, Howard Liebengood, 51, an officer for the United States Capitol Police (USCP), died by suicide on Saturday while off-duty – three days after serving on the front line during the shocking Capitol riots.
However, the USCP has made no suggestion that Liebengood's death was linked to the riots on January 6.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, President Trump released a proclamation to honor Sicknick and Liebengood.
Trump's proclamation read: "I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, January 13, 2021.
"I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations."
The request was made "as a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice" for the two officers who died, all Capitol Police officers, and law enforcement across the United States.
Following the tragic news of Liebengood's death, Representative Dean Phillips called for additional support for US Capitol officers following the riots.
On Wednesday, pro-Trump supporters stormed the building and breached the Capitol – resulting in the deaths of five people.
Capitol rioters appeared to scream "hang Mike Pence" after Donald Trump blamed the "furious" vice president for not blocking Joe Biden's win.
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