Authorities arrested a Springfield, Missouri, man Saturday for allegedly pointing a gun at a pro-life protester outside an abortion clinic in Granite City.
“This wasn’t just a guy who had a rifle, he pointed it at me,” said pro-life protester John Ryan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday. “I see the barrel of the rifle pointing at me … I backed up a few steps, walked back across the street and called the cops.”
Ryan was protesting outside of Granite City’s Hope Clinic for Women and says he approached a car to hand out “Defenders of the Unborn” flyers when the man in the vehicle pointed a rifle at him.
The accused, 27-year-old Kevin M. Brooks, claims he didn’t do anything wrong.
“I didn’t point a gun at anybody,” he said. “All I did was lift [the gun] up so he could see it was there.”
“If I thought I had done something illegal, I could’ve left. I could’ve hid the gun, I could’ve done a number of things. I thought I was well within my rights,” Brooks continued. He claims he had the gun because he didn’t feel safe driving through East St. Louis without a weapon, according to the Post-Dispatch.
The Hi-Point model 995 rifle was “loaded, uncased and immediately accessible,” according to police.
“To say that they found a loaded gun in the car is an absolute lie. The gun was not loaded,” Brooks said, denying the authorities’ statements.
Madison County authorities charged Brooks with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
“The thing we want to stress is that this was an isolated incident and nobody got hurt,” said Detective Lt. Mike Nordstrom.
Brooks called the Post-Dispatch after Madison County Jail released him Tuesday. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty of the charges brought against him. (RELATED: Nashville Abortion Clinic Closes. Only One Planned Parenthood Clinic Remains)
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