Indiana heavy metal musician arrested for alleged role in Capitol riot
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An Indiana heavy metal guitarist was arrested on Sunday in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot earlier this month, according to the FBI.
Jon Schaffer, a founding member of the heavy metal band, Iced Earth, faces 6 charges, including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building, FBI Indianapolis wrote on Twitter.
“Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with ‘bear spray.'” the FBI wrote.
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Multiple people had identified Schaffer as a man seen in a photograph at the Capitol, according to the Indianapolis Star.
An image of Schaffer was allegedly labeled as photograph #25 on an FBI poster seeking help to identify those who made unlawful entry into the building on Jan. 6.
He was photographed in a blue hooded sweatshirt under a tactical vest with a baseball cap that read: “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member,” according to a statement of facts posted on the Department of Justice (DOJ) website.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
The organization characterizes itself as a militia of former law enforcement and military personnel. Schaffer also previously attended Trump rallies.
At least five people died in connection with the riot — including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, identified as Brian Sicknick, who died after being injured “while physically engaging with protesters,” authorities said.
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His bandmates released a statement on Jan. 9 denouncing the Capitol siege.
“We absolutely DO NOT condone nor do we support riots or the acts of violence that the rioters were involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building,” wrote Iced Earth bassist, Luke Appleton on Instagram. “We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.”
According to the DOJ, the other charges that Schaffer is facing are:
- “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority”
- “Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business”
- “Knowingly Engages in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds”
- “Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building”
- “Parade, Demonstrate, or Picket in a Capitol Building”
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He turned himself in to the FBI on Sunday afternoon, the paper reported.
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