A Republican candidate who unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the state Legislature in 2020 posted a photo of himself inside the U.S. Capitol during Wednesday’s riot that shocked the nation, interrupted the Electoral College vote confirming Joe Biden’s election, and resulted in five deaths.
Nicholas R. Ochs ran for the state House District 22 seat which covers Waikiki and Ala Moana and was defeated by Adrian Tam, a Democrat. Tam won by wide margin with 6,080 votes or nearly 68% of the votes over Ochs who garnered 2,869 votes or 32% of the votes.
Ochs is also a founding member of “Proud Boys Hawaii,” a far-right extremist group.
Thousands of rioters stormed the Capitol Wednesday during a congressional joint session of electoral vote count. During the uproar, Capitol police fatally shot a 35-year-old woman in the building and three people died of medical emergencies.
The woman who died from a gunshot wound was identified as Ashli Babbitt of Huntington, Md., according to the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C. The three people who died of medical emergencies were identified as 34-year-old Rosanne Boyland of Kennesaw, Ga.; 55-year-old Kevin Greeson of Athens, Ala.; and 50-year-old Benjamin Phillips of Ringtown, Pa.
Hello from the Capital lol pic.twitter.com/H1Axdou708
— Dictator of Hawaii Elect Nick Ochs (@OchsForHawaii) January 6, 2021
A Capitol police officer also died late Thursday from injuries he sustained in the riot. He is identified as Brian D. Sicknick, according to a U.S. Capitol Police Department news release.
The department said Sicknick was responding to the riots and was injured while physically engaging with protesters. “He returned to his division office and collapsed.”
Sicnick was taken to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.
He joined the U.S. Capitol Police in July 2008 and most recently served in the department’s First Responder’s Unit.
In the aftermath of the riot, congressional leaders has called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment to immediately remove President Donald Trump from office, accusing the president of fueling protesters by his false claims about the election.
Ochs did not respond to Honolulu Star-Advertiser phone calls and emails seeking comment.
At 11:13 a.m. Wednesday, Ochs tweeted a photo of himself inside the Capitol with a lit cigarette in his mouth. The caption said: “Hello from the Capital (sic) lol.”
In the photo next to Ochs is an unidentified man wearing a short brim hat and sunglasses who also had a lit cigarette in his mouth.
The riot temporarily halted the Electoral College vote count and evacuated the joint session of Congress until law enforcement could secure the building.
Congress resumed the count Wednesday night and affirmed Biden’s win in the presidential election early Thursday.
According to his LinkedIn page, Ochs served as vice chairman of Trump’s Hawaii campaign in the 2016 election.
He is a combat veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa from 2016 to 2020 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Ochs also indicated in his LinkedIn page that he has been working as a freelance writer since 2015.
In an interview with CNN Wednesday night, Ochs said, “We didn’t have to break in, I just walked in and filmed.”
He added: “There were thousands of people in there — they had no control of the situation. I didn’t get stopped or questioned.”
During the interview, CNN said Ochs claimed he was working as a professional journalist when he entered the Capitol and that he did not enter any of the congressional chambers or offices.
FBI Honolulu spokesman Jason White said the FBI is working closely with their law enforcement partners to investigate many people who were involved in criminal activity at the Capitol. He declined to name any individuals they are investigating.
In a statement Thursday, U.S. Attorney Kenji Price for the District of Hawaii said, “I strongly condemn the assault on democracy that unfolded before our eyes (Wednesday) at the very heart of the Nation’s capital.”
The FBI is also seeking the public’s help in identifying individuals who actively instigated violence in the Capitol building and surrounding area.
Anyone with information is urged to call (800) CALL-FBI (800-225-5324). Tipsters may also submit any information, photos or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.