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Man accused of carrying loaded gun to Capitol Hill on January 6

“I thought Nan and I would get along well,” Mazza told investigators as they prepared to finish their interview. “I was glad I didn’t because you would be here for another reason and told my kids if they show up I surrender, no they can have me because I could become a hero. “

Although reports of rioters accused of carrying firearms have been limited, the number has steadily increased. A former DEA agent raised his service weapon in front of the Capitol. A man from Texas has also been charged with bringing a handgun. Oath Keepers leaders accused of plotting to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election do not face gun charges, but prosecutors have gathered evidence suggesting they were keeping a stockpile of weapons at a hotel near Arlington, Virginia.

Growing evidence has contradicted claims by former President Donald Trump and his allies that the mob attacking Capitol Hill was unarmed. In addition to the growing number of firearms authorities suspected of having been transported to the Capitol grounds, rioters brought in knives, axes, batons, Tasers, bats, sticks and even a crutch. and a hockey stick. Others stole police shields and used metal barricades and furniture as makeshift weapons.

But Mazza’s case is the clearest to date of a loaded gun on the Capitol grounds that day. Prosecutors obtained the gun from the alleged assailant himself and used his serial number to trace it back to him. They located Mazza after learning that on January 8, Mazza himself had reported the stolen weapon to local authorities. He told Shelbyville Police that he was removed from his car on January 5 while driving through Ohio. Mazza’s report was entered into a nationwide database, which Capitol Hill police accessed as they attempted to locate the owner of the gun.

Mazza Charged with Obstructing Congressional and FBI Investigation of Jan.6 Attack, Carrying Firearms on Capitol Hill and Obstructing Police, and Violation of DC code for bringing an unlicensed gun into town.

The Capitol Police sergeant who obtained Mazza’s weapon initially struggled to identify him when shown photos – instead identifying a younger-looking man with similar facial features . He admitted that he was unsure of the identity of his attacker in part because he was wearing a hat.

Although the prosecution documents describe Mazza’s repeated efforts to help break the police line – from engaging in a collective push to overwhelm officers to swinging a stick he obtained against officers – there is also another strange twist in his case.

Investigators say that when two officers were drawn into the rioting crowd in the tunnel – including DC police officer Michael Fanone – Mazza appeared to intervene and possibly seek to “stop other rioters from attacking them. officers ”.

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