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‘We must protect the right to peacefully protest’ | St. Louis circuit attorney releases statement after couple seen pointing guns at protesters

Gardner said in a statement that her office is working with the public and police to investigate what happened

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner released a statement following an incident that happened during a protest in the city’s Central West End neighborhood on Sunday.

Videos from the protest showed a man holding a semi-automatic rifle and a woman pointing a pistol at protesters marching down the street. The videos have since been widely shared across social media.

READ MORE: Couple points guns at protesters marching in Central West End to call for Mayor Krewson to resign

The couple has been identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey. Both are attorneys who have defended their actions, saying they felt threatened by what they called a "mob" that broke through the gate to their property and refused to leave.

"The only thing that stopped the crowd was my rifle," Mark McCloskey told 5 On Your Side. 

Gardner said in a statement that her office is working with the public and police to investigate what happened.

Full statement:

“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault. 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.

My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”

5 On Your Side spoke with Mark McCloskey on Monday.

Watch the full interview below