A threatening email directed at four Missouri senators and making reference to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has raised new security concerns at the state Capitol.
Giffords was severely wounded last year during a shooting rampage in Arizona that left six people dead.
Democratic Sens. Jolie Justus of Kansas City, Victor Callahan of Independence and Robin Wright-Jones of St. Louis, along with Republican Sen. Jack Goodman of Mount Vernon, were the targets of the email. It was sent to the office of Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer early Tuesday.
The subject of the email was gasoline prices, and it was apparently followed up with another email apologizing. But the threat is being taken seriously, Wright-Jones said, and is under investigation.
Less than a month ago, Wright-Jones, Justus and Callahan were among six lawmakers who found orange stickers with the image of rifle crosshairs on the nameplates outside their office doors. When the stickers were removed, some lawmakers returned and found even larger crosshairs had replaced them.
The threat was discussed Tuesday at a Senate committee hearing on a bill requiring installation of video surveillance cameras in all public areas of the Capitol. Cameras now cover only entrances and exits.
Wright-Jones, who is sponsoring the bill, said it was inspired by the crosshair stickers incident.
“We need to be more prudent about how we protect our constituents when they visit the Capitol, how we protect our staff when we’re not here and how we protect ourselves during the legislative session,” she said.