The St. Louis couple caught a video brandishing guns in the front yard of their home as protesters passing through their private neighborhood are being investigated by local police.
Mark McCloskey, the 63-year-old owner seen in the now viral video with a black rifle, said in a recent interview that he, his wife, and their home were threatened by a fringe group that accompanied protesters marching to the nearby home of the mayor.
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“There were people in body armor. One person pulled out a loaded pistol magazine, put them together and said, "You are next," McCloskey told the "Today" program on a segment that aired Tuesday morning. "We were threatened with our lives, threatened with burning down the house."
The video shows McCloskey holding the long black gun and screaming: ‘Private property. Come out now. & # 39; "
The footage continues to show McCloskey's wife, Patricia, sometimes pointing a gun at protesters.
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The crowd was furious after he told them to leave their property, McCloskey said. But Daniel Shular, a photojournalist who said he witnessed the encounter, described in an interview how the situation "went to another level" when McCloskey grabbed the gun.
Circuit attorney Kimberly Gardner released a statement Monday night characterizing what happened differently, saying her office was working with police to investigate the confrontation.
"I am alarmed by the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met with firearms and a violent assault," said Gardner. "We must protect the right to protest peacefully, and any attempt to cool it down by intimidation or threat of lethal force will not be tolerated."
No charges were filed against the couple until Tuesday morning.
The McCloskeys called the St. Louis Police Department shortly before 7:30 p.m. Sunday, according to a summary of the incident provided to Fox News by the department. They told the officers who arrived that they heard a "commotion," and then "watched a large group of subjects violently break through an iron door marked with" No Trespassing "and" Private Street. "
But the video shows protesters walking through the door, which did not appear to be damaged at the time.
"Once they crossed the door, the victims informed the group that they were on a private street and they trespassed, and told them to leave," the police summary said. “The group began shouting obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they armed themselves and contacted the police. ”
According to the couple's account, police classified the incident as a case of intrusion and assault for intimidation, according to the summary of the incident. No other police reports were filed that night, a department spokesman told Fox News.
Al Watkins, an attorney for the McCloskeys, said the protest was largely peaceful and that the couple did not draw their weapons outside the home until two men in particular, both white, began threatening them.
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The couple, he said, were hesitant to present the full story for fear that they would "belittle the importance of Black Lives Matter."
"At the time, their fear was, these people, two in particular, marching along with the Black Lives Matter protest participants, all peaceful. They were acting inconsistently with the message being given," Watkins said. "My clients were not arming themselves against peaceful protesters, they were arming themselves over people with a really bad motive, a motive that is in conflict with the fundamental principles of our country."
Watkins said the McCloskeys have practiced law for more than 30 years and "their practices have continually included representing people in pursuit of the protection of their civil rights."
"One hundred percent of my client's clients in those cases have been people of color," Watkins said.
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At the time of the tense confrontation, protesters were marching toward Mayor Lyda Krewson's home to demand her resignation.
Associated Press contributed to this report.