Iced Earth guitarist/songwriter Jon Schaffer is reportedly among the dozens of people the Washington D.C. police are seeking in connection with the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by supporters of outgoing one-term President Donald Trump.
A widely-distributed photo was posted on the D.C. Metropolitan Police site under “Persons of Interest in Unrest-Related Offenses” in which a person resembling Schaffer can be seen pointing angrily at a camera with his index finger extended as he and dozens of others invade the Capitol building.
The outspoken co-founder of the Tampa, Florida metal band has been identified by numerous outlets by his signature grey beard, left wrist tattoos that include “1776” and an American flag, as well as an Oath Keepers baseball hat from the group the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as a far-right anti-government militia organization.
Schaffer, an avowed Trump supporter who has worn Confederate flag bandanas on stage and who has claimed that COVID-19 is a “psychological warfare campaign on the people more than it is a serious pandemic,” also reportedly attended another protest rally at the U.S. Capitol in November.
He reportedly spoke to German paper Die Welt at that event, with the paper posting a photo of him that matches the image on the D.C. police site; a spokesperson for Shaffer’s label had not returned requests for comment at press time.
As of Friday morning (Jan. 8), five people had died as a result of the shocking attack that former President Barack Obama condemned in a statement as “a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation.” The riot has also elicited calls for Trump to be impeached a second time, as well as growing bipartisan efforts to remove him from office as a number of his cabinet members have tendered their resignations.
At press time, it did not appear that Schaffer had responded to the reports of his wanted status.
Schaffer wasn’t the only musician to reportedly attend the rally. Lo-fi indie rockers Ariel Pink and John Maus were also spotted by fans in D.C. on Wednesday, with Pink confirming that while he joined the protest, he did not take part in the violent attack on the country’s seat of democracy. “I don’t and never have advocated for violent confrontation or rioting,” Pink said according to his response to a screenshot from documentary filmmaker Alex Lee Moyer’s placing him at the event. “I was in dc to peacefully show my support for the president. i attended the rally on the white house lawn and went back to hotel and took a nap. case closed.”