Feds Capture Accused Capitol Rioter Who Allegedly Fired A Gun During The Chaos

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Federal authorities announced on Friday the arrest of an accused participant in the violent mob at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, who allegedly fired a gun — repeatedly — during the chaos. The account provided by federal authorities identifies the shots as into the air rather than targeting any specific person.

It’s another rebuttal to the curiously persistent assertion on the Right that the attack at the Capitol in early 2021 isn’t accurately described as “armed.” In fact, this defendant — Illinois man John Banuelos — is not the first accused of carrying a firearm while the Capitol attack unfolded.

Banuelos’ charges include entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon alongside a charge covering him allegedly carrying the weapon and another count that covers its alleged discharge. Those are all felony charges.

The timeline from the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington, D.C., says that Banuelos was at the Capitol complex and engaging with police nearly an hour before participants in the assault first entered the Capitol building itself. Besides allegedly kicking at metal barricades that police were trying to use to establish a perimeter, “Banuelos is then seen allegedly holding up his gloved hand to form the shape of a “finger gun” and simulating “firing” multiple times in the direction of the officers,” the federal recounting said.

It was later when he allegedly fired the gun he’d been carrying, actions that authorities placed at the top of part of the scaffolding constructed for the then-upcoming presidential inauguration. “Open-source media and CCTV captured Banuelos allegedly raising the gun over his head and, at approximately 2:34 p.m., firing two shots into the air,” authorities said.

On his social media site Truth Social, Trump recently pledged to prioritize the release of defendants with criminal allegations originating in the Capitol riot if elected to the presidency again. He also continues calling detainees facing such charges “hostages,” alleging that political schemes lie behind the court proceedings implicating them.