Gov. Phil Murphy Decries N.J.-Born Capitol Cop's Death as 'Needless Murder'

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy described the death of U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick as a "needless murder" carried out amid Wednesday's "violent insurrection" in Washington.

Sicknick, 42, a South River, New Jersey, native and former member of the state's Air National Guard, was killed during the riot led by supporters of President Donald Trump. His death was a result of injuries sustained "while physically engaging with protesters," and is being investigated as a homicide. A GoFundMe for Sicknick's family has raised nearly $200,000 as of Saturday morning.

The governor of Sicknick's home state commended the late officer for giving "his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection."

"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," Murphy said in a statement Friday.

Despite the president urging on his supporters for weeks leading up to the January 6 riot, Sicknick's family asked the public not to make his death a "political issue."

"Many details regarding Wednesday's events and the direct causes of Brian's injuries remain unknown and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian's passing a political issue," the family said in a statement Thursday, with his brother describing Brian as a "hero" who spent his final day "fighting for his life."

Sicknick attended Middlesex County Vocational Technical High School on its East Brunswick, New Jersey, campus, where he graduated in 1997. He later enlisted in the New Jersey Air National Guard where he was a fire team member with the 108th Security Force Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Murphy's office announced.

His brother told reporters this week that Sicknick's lifelong dream was to become a police officer.

"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," Murphy continued in his statement. "We thank him for his service to our nation."

Newsweek reached out to Murphy's office for any additional remarks Saturday morning.

Murphy was one of several Garden State lawmakers to issue a statement regarding Sicknick's death following the Capitol riot. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said the officer "gave his life defending democracy and protecting the lives of hundreds of men and women—including myself and my staff—during the storming of the U.S. Capitol by violent insurgents."

brian sicknick new jersey officer
New Jersey native Brian Sicknick was among the five deaths tied to the U.S. Capitol storming Wednesday led by supporters of President Donald Trump. Screenshot: Family Handout