An eastern Missouri resident upset about rising gasoline prices sent an e-mail to state Senate President Rob Mayer early Tuesday morning with a message that included: "S--t may hit the fan. Hey! How is GIFFORDS?"
Lawmakers understood the "Giffords" reference to mean former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who last month resigned from Congress to concentrate on recovering from head wounds suffered during a January 2011 assassination attempt that killed six others at a public appearance on a Tucson parking lot.
"It made you think this could be a serious threat," Mayer, R-Dexter, told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "We've had our Capitol security forces do investigations into this type of threat.
"We understand that people are frustrated out there. But this type of communication is not appropriate, and will be taken seriously."