Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer was arrested on Sunday (January 17th) after turning himself into authorities for his role in January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol building. According to the FBI, the veteran metal musician faces six charges.
The FBI confirmed to local Indianapolis CW-affiliated television station WISH-TV that Schaffer turned himself in at roughly 3 p.m. on Sunday. The arrest came 11 days after the metal guitarist was photographed at the head of a mob that entered the Capitol. The picture of him screaming and pointing while wearing an Oath Keepers hat ended up as the lead image on a number of major news articles.
Schaffer was sought by both the Washington, D.C., police and the FBI for unlawful entry. A statement released by the FBI’s Indianapolis field office reveals that Schaffer faces six charges in total, including the very serious count of “engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building.” The full statement reads:
“Jon Schaffer, Columbus, IN, has been arrested in connection to Jan 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol. Schaffer faces 6 charges including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building. Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with ‘bear spray.'”
Update, January 18th: An official criminal complaint issued by the FBI has detailed all six charges that Jon Schaffer is currently facing. They are listed as follows:
1. Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
2. Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business
3. Knowingly Engages in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds
4. Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
5. Engage in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building
6. Parade, Demonstrate, or Picket in a Capitol Building
In addition, the FBI has presented photographic evidence of Schaffer carrying bear spray, as seen in the images below.
Schaffer was photographed among the hundreds of people who broke into the Capitol building in an effort to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. The riot took place shortly after Donald Trump held a rally nearby and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, at one point saying, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
His bandmates in Iced Earth released a statement condemning the violence at the U.S. Capitol, without mentioning Schaffer by name. “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 the other four members of Iced Earth.
See the photographic evidence presented by the FBI that allegedly shows Schaffer carrying bear spray, as well as a tweet regarding the charges by the FBI Indianapolis bureau below.
Jon Schaffer, Columbus, IN, has been arrested in connection to Jan 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol. Schaffer faces 6 charges including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building. Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with "bear spray."
— FBI Indianapolis (@FBIIndianapolis) January 18, 2021