In what has been a historically turbulent week, January 6th marked the first time that the United States Capitol Building has been breached since 1814.
During what has mostly been a ceremonial confirmation in election years prior, Congress was set to confirm President-Elect Joe Biden's win. The event was met with thousands of President Donald Trump protestors, of which the President addressed in a speech that included more claims of voter fraud and widespread corruption.
The result was a siege on the Capitol Building with mobs of Trump supporters toppling barricades, climbing walls, and eventually, flooding the hallowed governmental grounds. Among the protestors that were actually photographed in the siege was Iced Earth guitarist, Jon Schaffer.
As images began to emerge from the scene, the metal community quickly identified the guitarist and the reaction was both swift and divisive.
In the days since the riot, the remaining members have been quiet about the news but have since released an official statement. The band's bassist Luke Appleton and vocalist Stu Block posted the following on their own social media accounts.
We want to thank those of you who have sent words of support in recent days. Some of you have been concerned by our silence, which we understand. We needed some time to properly process the information and find out some facts before we made a statement.
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. We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.
With broken hearts we are sending our love and compassion to everyone who has felt pain from the events on January 6th. We are deeply saddened and our hearts go out to the families of the lives lost that day. There are really no proper words to console. Just know we are with you in your shock, grief and pain. Much love to you all.
Stu, Luke, Jake, Brent
The fallout from the violence has result in Schaffer now being pursued by Washington D.C. Police as well as an appearing on the FBI's Most Wanted list under the "Seeking Information" subcategory.