Iced Earth singer releases new statement about accused Capitol rioter guitarist
Jon Schaffer, the leader and guitarist of Tampa metal band Iced Earth, is being sought by police and the FBI as a "person of interest" in the riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday (1/6), where he was identified in a photo taken inside the Capitol building. The rest of the band released a statement in response:
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.
First and foremost 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 Block, the band's vocalist since 2011, had also shared what appeared to be messages of support for Schaffer on social media, one a heart with the caption "Nuff said #love," and another that read, "Oh it's happening! History in the making. Sending love to my friends in the US and all over the world!" He's since deleted both, and Metal Sucks points out that he's come under fire from fans who accused him of deleting comments on the band's statement asking about the messages, and banning the users making comments.
Block has now made a lengthy new statement about the situation, which he says will be his final word on the matter:
First I want to thank everyone for the amazing support you have shown. Unfortunately It has come to my attention in recent days about a screenshot someone made. There were some very obsessive hateful people posting the screenshot that I did have to remove from my social media. I do want to extend my apologies for the poor way I worded two Facebook posts on January the 6th. I’m human and I make mistakes. My wording was absolutely misunderstood and not properly thought out on my part and I know people and media can interpret things differently. At that moment I saw a historical thing happening that perhaps would cause divide amongst people everywhere so I sent love out to everyone as well. I quickly took the post down after I realized that the post I put up with good intentions to encourage discussion about what was happening at that moment was severely misinterpreted by some. This was all happening before I found out about the horrible line that was crossed that day by protesters. I also carelessly misread a comment someone posted on my official Facebook page and replied incorrectly and for that I am sorry. I was in the heat of the moment. In the post, the commenter said: “Are you condemning what happened today Stu?” I replied: “and where in my statement would you get that impression?” In the craziness of responding to so many comments, some very hateful in nature which were also coming at me in rapid fire, I read the word as “condoning” which I DO NOT!! I see that this inaccurate misinterpreted screenshot has been shared on various social media pages and I want to go on record to say this AGAIN:
I absolutely DO NOT condone nor do I support ANY acts of violence or anything else that ANY protester or rioter was involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building.
If you follow me, you know I am generally a man of Peace, Kitties and Music. I do believe in peaceful protest and expressing your grievances , I believe in questioning authority when it’s appropriate, but I also believe that it should be done in a peaceful, respectful and intellectual manner and within the confines of the law. Again I apologize for any confusion. That’s it that’s all. I have been and will be taking a social media break and this is the only time I will ever address this inaccurate misinterpreted screenshot. Much Love and Stay Strong. ❤️ Stu Block ❤️
Meanwhile, Schaffer's whereabouts are currently unknown.