WASHINGTON — A Donald Trump enthusiast who appeared to fire two gunshots at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was arrested by federal authorities on Friday.

NBC News identified John Emanuel Banuelos two years ago as the man in photos and video footage who appeared to be flashing a gun in his waistband as he fought officers on Jan. 6, 2021.

Last month, Jan. 6 rioter Derrick Evans, who is now running in a Republican House primary in West Virginia, published previously unseen video that appeared to show that Banuelos actually fired his weapon twice outside the Capitol that day. Online “sedition hunters” who have aided the FBI in hundreds of arrests of Capitol rioters — and who first sent Banuelos’ name to the FBI in February 2021 — quickly surfaced additional footage that confirmed that Banuelos was the man who appeared to have fired the weapon.

Banuelos, 39, now lives in Summit, Illinois, and he made his first appearance in federal court in Illinois on Friday after his arrest.

John Emanuel Banuelos
John Emanuel Banuelos on Jan. 6, 2021.U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia

Banuelos, as NBC News reported in conjunction with NBC affiliate KSL, was arrested about six months after the Capitol attack, when he fatally stabbed a 19-year-old in a park in Utah on July 4, 2021. Banuelos was not charged in that attack because he claimed self-defense, but he told investigators that he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and had displayed his weapon.

“Man, should I just tell the FBI to come get me or what?” he said in the interview with Salt Lake City police, police records show.

While numerous rioters were armed with guns on Jan. 6, none were known to have actually fired their weapons; Banuelos is the first to be charged with doing so. The shots he allegedly fired outside the Capitol came at 2:34 p.m., which is about 10 minutes before Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot as she breached a window leading into the Speaker’s Lobby. That means it was a member of the pro-Trump mob — not law enforcement — that fired the first gunshot of the day.

Charging documents say that Banuelos “can be seen waving the crowd towards him before pulling what appears to be a firearm from his waistband.”

John Emanuel Banuelos
The FBI identified Banuelos in this Jan. 6 photo.U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia

The FBI affidavit said that the footage published by Evans, as well as CCTV footage highlighted by NBC News last month, showed Banuelos “raising the gun over his head, and, at approximately 2:34 p.m., firing two shots into the air.”

The FBI special agent who signed the affidavit said that based on their training and experience with firearms, Banuelos’ “actions and the object he is holding is consistent with an operable firearm.” The FBI affidavit also notes the bureau received a tip from someone who personally knew Banuelos in February 2021. The person, who had known Banuelos for numerous years, told the bureau that Banuelos said he was in a Vice video about the Capitol attack.

John Emanuel Banuelos
The two shots fired outside the Capitol.U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia

Last year, according to the FBI, Banuelos posted a video on X that appeared to show him racking a semi-automatic weapon, in response to a post that included an FBI poster featuring his image. Banuelos, in an interview with the FBI, “denied intending to threaten anyone and claimed that many of his posts were done by artificial intelligence” and “stated that any weapons seen in his posts on X were fake and/or done by artificial intelligence.”

This week, an Instagram account under Banuelos’ name responded to a request for comment from NBC News that was sent last month after the footage of the gunshots emerged. “The only thing I would like to say is that there’s a war going on between the truths of God and the lies of this world the flesh and the devil,” the account under Banuelos’ name wrote. “And my personal mantra that goes like this God first, think twice moved once, to be aware is to be alive!”

More than 1,300 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and more than a dozen people were arrested this week alone. Prosecutors have secured more than 950 convictions, and about 500 people have been sentenced to periods of incarceration ranging from a few days behind bars to 22 years in federal prison.

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