Rifle Seized During Warrant Served on St. Louis Couple Who Brandished Guns

No arrest or charges
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a senior reporter for the Epoch Times. She covers U.S. news and world news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com
July 11, 2020Updated: July 11, 2020

Authorities confiscated a rifle while serving a search warrant late Friday at the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who last month wielded guns to defend their home from activists who walked through their private, gated neighborhood.

“We complied with the search warrant. They took my AR,” Mark McCloskey told The Todd Starnes Radio Show. “I’m absolutely surprised by this.”

Citing sources, local outlet KSDK said St. Louis police officers seized a rifle from the couple.

The McCloskeys said their attorney has the pistol that Patricia was wielding outside their home.

No charges have been filed against the couple.

Joel Schwartz, who replaced Al Watkins as the couple’s lawyer, told KSDK that he doesn’t believe charges are warranted. He hopes to meet with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office next week.

Schwartz didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gardner, a Democrat, said she was “alarmed” by what the McCloskeys did.

“We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated,” she said in a statement last month, adding that her office was “currently working with the public and police to investigate these events.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, said during an appearance on “Fox News @ Night” on Friday: “Under Missouri law, under the Castle Doctrine, an individual has a really expansive authority to protect their own lives, their home, and their property.”

What Happened

The St. Louis couple were eating on their back porch on June 28 when dozens of people entered their private neighborhood through a gate marked “Private Street.”

Pictures later showed the wrought iron gate damaged.

The McCloskeys grabbed firearms and stood outside their home, urging the group to keep going and not stop.

As they did, some of the group shouted threats at them.

The group was headed to the home of Democratic St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who lives in the same neighborhood, to demand that she resign. They were upset she publicly read the names and addresses of activists who submitted complaints to entirely defund the city’s police department.

A police summary of the incident obtained by The Epoch Times stated: “The victims stated they were on their property when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street. When the victims went to investigate the commotion, they observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs.”

“Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave. The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police,” it said.

The McCloskeys said in a statement released through their lawyer that they believe they acted lawfully because they remained on their property.

“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,” the statement said.

The couple later said they support Black Lives Matter.

mccloskey house private security
Security personnel stand on the balcony the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey as protesters gather outside their neighborhood in St Louis, Missouri, on July 3, 2020. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Private Security

Protesters returned to the McCloskeys’ neighborhood on July 3, but they were met with private security the couple had hired.

The Black Lives Matter protesters stopped at the gate near the McCloskeys’ home for around 15 minutes but did not go over, video footage appears to show.

The protesters were heard taunting and heckling the couple.

The couple were not seen in the incident on July 3.

The Associated Press reported that inside their gate, “more than a dozen men in plain clothes walked the grounds and peered out from a second-floor balcony of the couple’s home,” adding that one protester appeared to try to jump over the gate but didn’t end up doing so.

Zachary Stieber and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.