A Trump supporter who became known as the ‘QAnon shaman’ after being pictured during riots at the US Capitol is reportedly a “failed actor” and conspiracy theorist described by his mother’s neighbours as “bizarre."
Jacob Angeli Chansley, 33, was charged with entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds after he participated in the mob that laid siege to the Capitol on Wednesday.
He was photographed wearing horns and carrying a spear while rioting in the Senate debating chamber and had painted his face with red, white and blue face paint.
According to the Daily Mail, Chansley has been living with his 56-year-old mother, Martha, since January 2019 after he was evicted from his apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, owing US$1,247 in rent arrears.
The newspaper reported that Chansley is unemployed, having failed to launch an acting career, and has been seen wandering through his mother’s neighbourhood in Glendale dressed in the same costume he wore to the Capitol riots.
He also has a car bumper sticker with the word ‘WQKE’ and the hashtags ‘#AllAboutTheChildren’ and ‘#TheGreatAwakening’, which are references to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement that believes in the existence of a vast underground pedophile ring.
Chansley is a fixture at anti-lockdown rallies and has been seen at numerous pro-Trump demonstrations over the last year, including one in February where he was photographed holding a sign that read “Q Sent Me”.
In September, Chansley reportedly led a protest at Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, in which he claimed a spiral sign close to the bathrooms in the shopping centre was “an FBI pedophile code”.
His mother declined to comment on her son’s actions, reported the Daily Mail.
One former high school classmate of Chansley’s told the newspaper his behaviour was “crazy stuff” and that he had “changed a lot” since leaving school 15 years ago.
A profile on the film industry site Backstage shows Chansley previously sought acting work and lists one project in which he volunteered at a Theatre Camp for disadvantaged children in 2018.
He describes himself as a “Voice Over and Acting Master”, and claims to be "capable of performing over 30 different voices and numerous different accents”.
Chansley was taken into custody on Saturday, a statement from the US Department of Justice confirmed.