A white couple who pointed guns at protesters in St Louis have said they were threatened as crowds marched down their street.
Video shared online showed 63-year-old Mark McCloskey and 61-year-old Patricia McCloskey stationed on the lawn outside their St Louis home on Sunday night as protesters walked past.
Mr McCloskey, who was seen with a long-barrel gun, could be heard shouting as some 500 people marched towards the mayor’s house to demand her resignation.
US president Donald Trump, who has criticised Black Lives Matter demonstrations, reshared the video on Monday, without comment.
Mr McCloskey told local news outlet KMOV-TV that he and his wife, who are personal injury lawyers, feared for their lives as an “angry mob” walked down their private street.
“It was like the storming of the Bastille, the gate came down and a large crowd of angry, aggressive people poured through,” said Mr McCloskey. “I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds. Our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed.”
The 63-year-old said he phoned 911 when he heard the crowd approaching Portland Place, the private community where he lives in the city’s Central West End neighbourhood.
“A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear for our lives,” Mr McCloskey told KMOV.
Despite those comments, it was not clear whether or not demonstrators destroyed or removed the gate at Portland Place.
The St Louis couple also claimed that some protesters had threatened them and said “You’re next”, whilst armed with pistols.
Police said on Monday that whilst investigations into the matter continued, the case had been labelled as trespassing and assault by intimidation.
Protest organiser Rasheen Aldridge told CBS that Sunday’s march had been peaceful and no threats were ever made.
The McCloskeys’ lawyer, Albert Watkins, said in a statement on Monday night: “The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys.
“The most important thing for them is that their images (holding the guns) don’t become the basis for a rallying cry for people who oppose the Black Lives Matter message. They want to make it really clear that they believe the Black Lives Matter message is important.”
He added that he did not expect charges to be brought against protesters or his clients.
The march had taken place on Sunday after St Louis mayor Luda Krewson read-out the names and addresses of residents who had written to her about defunding the police in a Facebook video that has since been deleted