Police confiscate rifle from St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters


A husband and wife who were videotaped brandishing firearms at protesters outside their home in St. Louis turned in their rifle to police after a search warrant was executed.

Authorities went to Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s home on Friday amid an ongoing investigation into the incident.

The couple went viral last month after arming themselves with a rifle and pistol as they confronted a group protesting police brutality and the recent actions of the city’s mayor.

Still images and video of the confrontation circulated on social media when the Black Lives Matter protests took place across the country following the death of George Floyd.

In a video of the June 28 incident, Mark McCloskey is heard yelling, “Get my neighborhood out. Private property. Get out.”

The confrontation ended without injuries or arrests.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement Saturday that detectives executed a search warrant at the home in the thriving West Louis neighborhood of West Central End.

“Captured as evidence of residency was a .223 caliber semi-automatic Colt rifle,” the statement said.

The department declined to provide further details.

Attorney Joel Schwartz, who handled the case for another lawyer’s partner, told NBC News in a phone interview Saturday that McCloskey’s home was not searched by police and they voluntarily turned in the rifle.

The second weapon, believed to be a revolver, was handed over to the previous attorney, Schwartz said.

Schwartz maintained the innocence of his clients and said they are “law-abiding citizens who were well within their rights.”

The lawyer said the couple regret their actions, but said they did not violate any law. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office said the matter is still under investigation.

In a June statement, police described the McCloskeys as “victims” of fourth-degree intrusion and assault.

“The victims stated that they were on their property when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street,” police said. “When the victims went to investigate the commotion, they observed a large group of subjects forcefully break through an iron door marked with the signs ‘No entry’ and ‘Private street.'”

Police said the McCloskeys told the group that they were on private property and that they had to leave.

“The group began shouting obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims observed several subjects who were armed, they armed themselves and contacted the police,” the statement read.

Protesters were in the neighborhood to protest police brutality and Mayor Lyda Krewson, a West Central End resident who had revealed the names and addresses of activists who want to remove the police. Krewson has since apologized.

Daniel Shular, a freelance photojournalist who was at the protest, previously told NBC News that he saw no one break the door leading to the neighborhood and recalled seeing people simply walk through an open door.

“I turned around to take some photos of people coming through the door, then I turned around and by then he had his long gun in his hand,” he said. “And the woman came out with a gun and started pointing her finger at the trigger on everyone.”

Shular said he saw at least one armed protester, but said “it is not out of the ordinary for protests here.”

Albert Watkins, the McCloskeys’ former attorney, said last month that his clients are supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and was frightened that white protesters were acting aggressively.

It is unclear why the McCloskeys changed lawyers.