Man on Video Brandishing Gun at St. Louis Protesters Compares Incident to 'Storming of the Bastille'
Protesters were calling for the resignation of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who last week provoked outrage after reading the names and addresses of activists calling to defund the police during a Facebook Live video.
The man brandishing a gun alongside his wife at protesters outside their St. Louis home is speaking out about the incident. "I was terrified that we'd be murdered within seconds, that our house would be burned down, that our pets would be killed," Mark McCloskey said.
Images of Mark pointing an assault rifle and his wife Patricia waving a handgun as protesters marched past their palatial mansion went viral on social media.
"It was like the storming of the Bastille," Mark said. "The gate came down, and a large crowd — a very angry, shouting, aggressive people poured through."
Video shows protesters entering the gated community through an iron gate.
"Hey, private neighborhood. Get the hell out of my neighborhood," Mark can be heard yelling to the protesters.
"I stood up and announced loudly, 'This is private property, please go back. Leave.' Soon as I said the words, 'private property,' it enraged the crowd," Mark said.
The protesters were on their way to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who last week provoked outrage after reading the names and addresses of activists calling to defund the police during a Facebook Live video. Their route took them past the McCloskey mansion and other multi-million dollar homes.
KMOV-TV reporter Emma Hogg spoke with Mark McCloskey.
"Mark McCloskey did say that he got additional death threats, just through email and social media. Not only from people in St. Louis, but from people across the world. He is getting a lot of backlash."
The incident has been controversial. President Donald Trump retweeted video of the confrontation, but the protesters claim there was no threat.
News photographer William Greenblatt said the group was "peaceful."
"It was a pretty peaceful group going through," Greenblatt said. "And if they would have been inside their house, the protest would have walked right past their house."
The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, claim to support Black Lives Matter, and represent a client who is suing the police for alleged brutality. Now, they've had to board up their law offices.
"They threatened to burn down the house," Mark said. "Hundreds, seemingly hundreds of people said, 'We're gonna come back and get you later.'"
Officials are investigating the incident to determine if the couple will face any charges.
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