A middle-aged white couple in St. Louis, Missouri, have gone viral for pointing their guns at protesters who were marching toward the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson.
In a police report obtained by BuzzFeed News, the husband and wife — who have been reportedly identified by outlets as personal injury trial lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey — contacted police Sunday evening “when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street” and “observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs.”
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the couple claimed protesters were “yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims” and that they brought out their guns when they “observed multiple subjects who were armed.”
In videos circulating around social media, the two are seen standing barefoot outside of their property holding weapons. While the wife is seen with a handgun, the husband is seen with a semi-automatic weapon.
After videos of the couple went viral, social media users dubbed the two “Ken and Karen” and compared them to characters in “The Purge” — a film series set in a dystopian America where crimes, including murder, are legal for a 12-hour period.
Despite the couple’s claim that multiple protesters were “armed,” it is unclear if any demonstrators threatened the two with weapons. It is also unclear if anyone stepped beyond the sidewalk and trespassed onto their property.
The demonstrators were marching in the Central West End neighborhood to call for the resignation of Krewson, who released the names and addresses of citizens demanding police reform in a Friday Facebook Live video.
Later that day, Krewson issued an apology on Twitter, saying she never intended “to harm anyone or cause distress.”
I’d like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall today. This was during one of my Facebook updates as I was answering routine questions. Never did I intend to harm anyone or cause distress. The update is removed and again, I apologize.— Mayor Lyda Krewson (@LydaKrewson) June 27, 2020
Despite the controversy, Krewson has no plans to step down as mayor.
“Mayor has apologized, acknowledged the mistake and that there was absolutely no malicious intent, and took down the video,” Jacob Long, Krewson’s communications director, told CNN on Sunday night. “She won’t be resigning.”
Since 2017, Missouri has allowed people to carry concealed, loaded firearms in public without a background check or permit.