St. Louis homeowner and lawyer Mark McCloskey, who was seen in viral footage brandishing a firearm along with his wife Patricia, explained why he decided to arm himself and confront Black Lives Matter protesters who marched toward his property.
“[W]hen I saw that mob coming through the gate with their rage and their anger, I thought that we would be overrun in a second,” he told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night.
“By the time I was out there with my rifle, the people were 20 or 30 feet from my front wall. I’ve got a low wall that separates my house from my front yard. And so, I was literally afraid that within seconds they would surmount the wall, and come into the house, kill us, burn the house down and everything that I had worked for and struggled for … for the last 32 years.”
McCloskey said that he saw his house and life “going up in flames … I did what I thought I had to do to protect my hearth, my home, and my family.”
The McCloskeys are both personal injury lawyers who have a home that is valued at around $1 million.
The longtime lawyer said in the interview that he’s not a racist, as some on Twitter have alleged.
“To call us racist is ridiculous,” he told the show. “It had nothing to do with race. I wasn’t worried what the race was of the mob that came through my gate. I was worried I was going to be killed. I didn’t care what race they were.”
McCloskey noted that he has defended a number of people who are African-American. In a previous statement, his lawyer said that the couple supports Black Lives Matter.
“For people that are having a hard time making their miracle happen, for people that don’t have a voice. My black clients love us. The night that this happened, I had some of our black clients calling us up till 2:30 in the morning telling us how wrong it was the way the press [was] writing us up,” he added.
The incident occurred as protesters were heading toward Democratic St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand that she resign after she read the names and addresses of activists who submitted complaints to entirely defund the city’s police department. Krewson said she wouldn’t defund the department and later apologized for reading their names on Facebook Live.
Police officials said that the protesters broke a gate to get into the community where the McCloskeys live. The gate noted that it was a “private street” and “no trespassing” signs were up, according to McCloskey.
When he confronted the protesters, McCloskey shouted “private property” and “get out.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner also announced this week she would investigate the two lawyers.
The McCloskeys’ lawyer, Albert Watkins, told news outlets, “Their actions were borne solely of fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race-related. In fact, the agitators responsible for the trepidation were white.”
He added: “Bad things were said. They weren’t the message of Black Lives Matter. They were threats. They were hostile…my clients weren’t there with guns. (Mark McCloskey) went in and got his guns…these two people have spent a career serving and addressing the civil rights needs of people of color. (They) were not frightened of peaceful protesters.”