x
Breaking News
More () »

13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Columbus native, musician Jon Schaffer arrested for role in Capitol riot

The musician from Columbus, Indiana, turned himself in to authorities around 3 p.m. Sunday.

COLUMBUS, Ind. — We're getting a clearer picture of the Hoosier arrested this weekend in connection with the Capitol riots.

The FBI says Jon Ryan Schaffer, a heavy metal musician from Columbus, Indiana turned himself in Sunday afternoon.

Investigators say when he traveled from Indiana to Washington on Jan. 6, he illegally entered the U.S. Capitol with a weapon.

Photos shared by the FBI show Hoosier Jon Schaffer in the middle of the mob, storming the U.S. Capitol.

He's seen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, a tactical vest and a hat that reads "Oath Keepers lifetime member".

Oath Keepers is a self-described militia group, considered to be extremist and anti-government.

Credit: FBI
Jon Ryan Schaffer was identified after a photo of him was released by the FBI in the Capitol riot investigation.

Court documents say pictures and video show Schaffer was among the rioters who sprayed Capitol police with "bear spray", a form of capsaicin pepper spray sold by many outdoors retailers, as part of their efforts to push the officers back inside the Capitol and breach the Capitol Building themselves.

Investigators say Schaffer also verbally attacked the officers.

The 52-year-old now faces six criminal charges in connection to the riots.

13News talked by phone with a friend of Schaffer's in Columbus, who said he's been "the victim of defamation" and his alleged actions inside the Capitol were "out of character".

But the front man for heavy metal band "Iced Earth" has shared far-right extremist views for quite a while.

During a 2017 interview, the FBI says he identified himself as an anarchist.

And during a MAGA march in November, he told a reporter he vowed to fight the election results, saying "if somebody wants to bring violence, I think there's a lot of us here that are ready for it."

On Schaffer's bio on Iced Earth's website, he lists among his favorite movies: "Fall of the Republic" and "America - Freedom to Fascism" and his passions include "exposing tyranny".

Fans of Schaffer's music identified him quickly once the Capitol riot photos came out.

And the band itself is condemning what happened at the Capitol, their bassist, Luke Appleton writing online: "We absolutely not condone nor do we support riots or the acts of violence. We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions."