AFFTON (KMOV.com) – A South County man is being investigated after he allegedly threatened a family house hunting, because they are Muslim, police say.
Leonardo Debello, 72, who is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, allegedly told a father and his family that they needed to die. The family was driving around the area looking at homes.
A Muslim family told News 4’s Chris Nagus they were interested in buying a home near the intersection of Sioux and Big Chief in Affton. As they were leaving the neighborhood, Debello yelled “you Muslim – All of you should die”, according to a police report obtained by News 4. Debello is accused of continuing to say “this state allows you to carry a gun and shoot you.”
Debello then walked into his home and returned with a gray handgun, according to the police report, and stated “you, your wife and your kids have to die.”
Debello, who did not speak about the accusations directly, said he was off his medicine Sunday, when the alleged incident took place. Debello takes medicine for war-related PTSD.
While Debello does not want to go public with his version of the confrontation, he does dispute some of the details in the police report. Debello told News 4 he takes responsibility for what happened, and wrote a letter of apology he wants the family to read.
St. Louis County police are continuing to investigate the situation.