The father of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died from injuries suffered in last week's riot at the Capitol, said he hopes his son's death will serve to stop "all the lunacy that's been going on in this country."
Charles Sicknick, 81, spoke to Reuters following the death of his 42-year-old son on Jan. 7 from injuries suffered when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol a day earlier. Four others died in the violence.
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The elder Sicknick said his son was pepper-sprayed and struck in the head by the mob. He died at a Washington hospital the next day.
"He ended up with a clot on the brain,” his father said. “If they had operated on him, he would’ve become a vegetable."
Sicknick joined the Capitol Police in 2008 after having served in Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan for the Air National Guard. His father said his son was a Trump supporter but "got along real well with everybody because he was a gentleman."
"He loved his job," his father said. "I'll never get over this."
Sicknick was mourned over the weekend, with his Capitol Police colleagues lining the streets in tribute as the hearse carrying him made its way through Washington, D.C. The Capitol Police building was also draped in black bunting and the flag was lowered to half staff.
Gov. Phil Murphy has also ordered flags at all state buildings and facilities in New Jersey to be flown at half staff on Monday in honor of Sicknick, who was a South River native.
"United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state," Murphy said in a statement. "Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends, as well as to his United States Capitol Police colleagues and the Guardsmen and Guardswomen he served alongside. We thank him for his service to our nation."
A senior Department of Justice official confirmed to NBC News that there is a federal investigation into the events surrounding Sicknick's death. The investigation will be conducted jointly by the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Sicknick's father said he received calls from Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi offering their condolences. President Trump has not commented on Sicknick's death.
"If any good comes out of my son’s death, I just hope that it stops all the lunacy that’s been going on in this country," Charles Sicknick said.