A St. Louis, Missouri lawyer and his wife rose to prominence in a series of viral videos which showed the couple protect their home with firearms as protesters entered their gated neighborhood demanding the resignation of the mayor.
Roughly 300 protesters were reported entering the Portland Place neighborhood in St. Louis until they were met by Mark and Patricia McCloskey, two local attorneys, waving a rifle and a handgun at dozens of trespassers.
I lived in St. Louis for YEARS, this is NOT DOWNTOWN! I think we all saw this coming they're chanting "eat the rich" & hitting the suburbs NOW! Better be ready! Theyre BRANCHING OUT! pic.twitter.com/PsK9oEfjK5
— 𝑴𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆 6.0 (@TrumpRulzz) June 29, 2020
Some argued that the neighborhood was public property. However, McCloskey confirmed in an interview with KSDK News that he was standing up for his private property.
When asked to give an account of the events, he recalls how the protesters descended upon the neighborhood before saying, “Somebody forced the gate, and I stood up and announced that this is private property. Go back. I can’t remember in detail anymore. I went inside, I got a rifle.”
He added, “And these people were right up in my face, scared to death. And then, I stood out there. The only thing we said is this is private property. Go back. Private property. Leave now.”
McCloskey also remembered how “there were people wearing body armor. One person pulled out some loaded pistol magazine and clicked them together and said that you were next.”
“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened,” he said.
The lawyer also debunked a narrative surrounding the intrusion being peaceful as the neighborhood’s gate was reportedly destroyed.
“Everything inside the Portland Place gate is private property. There is nothing public in Portland Place. Being inside that gate is like being in my living room. There is no public anything in Portland Place. It is all private property,” McCloskey explained.
Since the incident, the couple say they have received death threats in addition to threats faced by the hundreds of intruders who entered the gated community.
Left-leaning British tabloid The Daily Mirror ran a narrative describing the incident as “chilling” and the trespassers as “peaceful protesters.”
Social media users sympathizing with the protesters also argued that Patricia McCloskey’s trigger discipline in the footage could have constituted a Class D felony.
A fellow lawyer from Missouri, a guy I know named Mark McCloskey committed an assault tonight in STL by pointing his AR 15 at peaceful protesters. He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses. https://t.co/6N75iFLDtT
— doncalloway (@dcstl) June 29, 2020
A public statement about the incident issued by the McCloskey’s attorney revealed that the couple is supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement, but condemns the those who appeared to threaten the couple’s safety and property.