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DIGGING DEEPER: Court docs lay out case against former Fort Wayne man charged with Capitol crimes

Jon Schaffer

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Documents filed in federal court offer insight and detail regarding the allegations against Jon Schaffer, a former Fort Wayne resident charged with six counts related to the incursion at the U.S. Capitol.

Schaffer, who founded the band "Iced Earth," now resides in Columbus, Ind. He surrendered to authorities in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Schaffer had been named by the FBI as a suspect and his picture had been distributed nationwide.

In filings entered into the federal court system on Monday, prosecutors lay out a "statement of facts" supporting their charges -- which are all related to unlawful activity at the Capitol.

According to the complaint: Schaffer "was among the rioters who sprayed United States Capitol Police officers 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."

The filing includes images that purportedly show Schaffer holding the canister of "bear spray."

Officials also included in the court records a statement allegedly made by Schaffer to a member of the press shortly before protesters made their way inside the Capitol:

My name’s Jon Schaffer, I’m from Indiana. A group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago. And now they’re making their big move, and it’s not gonna happen... People need to wake up and snap out of the Matrix, because they’re going down. They made the move, they’re messing with the wrong people here, trust me on that. And we needed it to be open like this. Open fraud. Open theft. Because now we see you, and you’re going down, mark my words.

The document claims that Schaffer stated, "if somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it. We don’t want that, but if they bring it we’re going to respond to that, trust me."

Officials describe him as an individual who "has long held far-right extremist views."

Schaffer is a native Hoosier who attended, but did not graduate from, Northrop High School.

He later resided in Florida, but has most recently lived in central Indiana.

He is the only original member still with the heavy metal band "Iced Earth." Other members of the band have disavowed the violence at the Capitol this month.


Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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