St. Louis Couple Who Brandished Guns Say They Were in Fear for Their Lives

St. Louis Couple Who Brandished Guns Say They Were in Fear for Their Lives
A couple holds guns as a group of activists moved into their gated neighborhood in St. Louis on June 28, 2020. (Daniel Shular via Reuters)
Zachary Stieber
The Missouri couple who were filmed wielding guns on their property after a group of activists broke into their private neighborhood said they feared for their lives.

Mark McCloskey, 63, and his wife, Patricia McCloskey, 61, were seen in footage widely circulated on social media outside their mansion in St. Louis on June 28, telling a group of activists to move on past their home.

McCloskey held a rifle while his wife had a handgun.

The lawyers said they were having a family dinner outside their home when the crowd busted through wrought iron gates that are marked with signs including one warning against trespassing.

“A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside, and put us in fear of our lives,” McCloskey told KMOV.

“This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”

In a statement released to news outlets on June 29, the couple said they’ve had a long career that includes protecting the civil rights of clients “victimized at the hands of law enforcement.”

“The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys,” the statement read. “To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters. The actions of violence, destruction of property, and acts of threatening aggression by a few individuals commingling with the peaceful protesters, gave rise to trepidation and fear of imminent and grave [sic].”

The situation wasn’t race-related; the agitators were white, the lawyers alleged.

Albert Watkins, a lawyer for the couple, said, “The Black Lives Matters movement is here to stay, it is the right message, and it is about time.”

The McCloskeys “want to make sure no one thinks less of BLM, its message, and the means it is employing to get its message out because of the actions of a few white individuals who tarnished a peaceful protest,” he said.

Some called for the husband and wife to be charged for holding guns while on their property. Video footage reviewed by The Epoch Times appears to show Patricia McCloskey pointing her gun at some of the activists.

Asked about the incident, a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman told The Epoch Times that there’s an ongoing investigation into what happened.

The couple, she said, reported a trespassing violation that took place at 7:23 p.m.

“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,” an incident summary of the police response stated.

“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. The investigation is ongoing.”