Jake Angeli: The 'QAnon shaman' from Arizona at the heart of the Capitol riots

Jamie Johnson
·3-min read
The hardcore Trump supporter from Arizona is the unofficial 'Shaman' for conspiracy theory group QAnon - Win McNamee/Getty Images
The hardcore Trump supporter from Arizona is the unofficial 'Shaman' for conspiracy theory group QAnon - Win McNamee/Getty Images

Of all the rioters who stormed the US Capitol building on Thursday, one man stood out.

Posing for pictures in a furry head dress with horns affixed, Jake Angeli stood shirtless, his body heavily tattooed, his face painted, screaming through a megaphone while thrusting a spear to which an American flag was tied into the air.

The hardcore Donald Trump supporter from Arizona is an actor and voiceover artist who is the unofficial "Shaman" for the conspiracy theory group QAnon.

The group falsely claims the US government is controlled by a "deep state" cabal of anti-Trump Satanist paedophiles – but that has not stopped high ranking officials from posing for photos with the 32-year-old.

In November, after the election, Angeli met Rudy Giuliani during a visit by the president's personal lawyer to Arizona.

Angeli met Rudy Giuliani when the president’s personal lawyer visited Arizona - Facebook
Angeli met Rudy Giuliani when the president’s personal lawyer visited Arizona - Facebook

Angeli captioned the image: “Got to shake Rudy's hand … what an honour it is to be present. Hold the line patriots! USA will prevail, we will stop the steal! Cuz as always God wins!"

As hundreds of rioters engaged in a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol, Angeli was right at the centre.

He flexed his left arm as he stood behind the dais in the Senate chamber where, just moments earlier, vice president Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi had been speaking.

Jake Angeli in the speaker's chair in Congress
Jake Angeli in the speaker's chair in Congress

The Arizona native has appeared at a number of pro-Trump rallies in the last two years and gained a cult following on social media.

Previously, he has held aloft a sign that says "Q Sent Me" and there are videos on YouTube of him rambling through the baseless QAnon theories.

According to reports, his tattoos include depictions of Mr Trump's Mexico border wall and a set of three nested triangles, an ancient Viking symbol known as a valknut which has been appropriated by far-right or neo-Nazi groups.

Despite his brazen entry into the Capitol building, it is not thought that Angeli was arrested.

Jake Angeli, AKA the "QAnon Shaman" - AP
Jake Angeli, AKA the "QAnon Shaman" - AP

Adrian Morrow, a reporter at a Canadian newspaper, tweeted: "I spoke with Jake Angeli, the QAnon guy who got inside the Senate chamber. 

"He said police eventually gave up trying to stop him and other Trump supporters, and let them in. After a while, he said police politely asked him to leave and let him go without arrest."

His appearance triggered comparisons to Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay. The 1990s jazz-funk performer trended on social media during the unrest, as users noted the similarity of his signature look to a bare-chested rioter wearing a horned animal fur hat.

However, Kay assured people that it definitely was not him. 

"Goooood mornin' world!" Kay told his band's Twitter followers in a video message Thursday, using a mock southern US accent.

"Now some of you may be thinkin' you saw me in Washington last night. But I'm afraid I wasn't with all those freaks," the 51-year-old stressed.

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Jamiroquai's hits in the 1990s included "Virtual Insanity", "Cosmic Girl" and "Space Cowboy". The band's artwork featured Kay in silhouette, wearing an enormous horned hat.

Robert Contee, the Washington Police Chief,  said 52 people had been arrested on Wednesday, 26 of them on the grounds of the Capitol, for curfew violations, unlawful entry and weapons charges.

Fourteen police officers were injured, one seriously after he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted, he added.

Mr Contee also said two pipe bombs had been discovered near the Capitol, one at Democratic Party offices and the other at Republican Party offices.

In addition, a vehicle was discovered parked on Capitol grounds with a long gun and Molotov cocktails inside.