The family of Markeis McGlockton, who was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Circle A Food Store in Clearwater, Florida, on Thursday, appealed to the state attorney to press charges against Michael Drejka, who was not arrested because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
The altercation began with an argument between McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, and Drejka over a handicapped parking space. When McGlockton confronted Drejka about what was going on, Drejka fired a fatal shot at McGlockton.
During a press conference on Tuesday, McGlockton’s parents and Jacobs expressed their sorrow at his passing and praised him for being a dutiful father, loving son and boyfriend, and overall “just a good man.”
“The loss of Markeis McGlockton is great. It’s not just, ‘Oh this is another black man that this has happened to,'” the family’s attorney Michele Rayner said. “If you saw him you saw one of his children.”
Rayner called on Florida State Attorney Bernie McCabe to “do the right thing” and file charges against Drejka, adding, “If not, they’re sanctioning a murder.”
“Any kind of law that allows one man to kill another man and the man that pulled the trigger doesn’t even get fingerprinted needs to stop,” McGlockton’s father, Michael, said.
Jacobs remained firm in her stance that her boyfriend was just trying to protect her and their two children who were in the car at the time of the shooting. Surveillance footage doesn’t include the audio of the incident, but Jacobs said McGlockton warned Drejka when he came out of the store to “get away from my girl” before he pushed him. About a month before the shooting, another man had a run in with Drejka over a handicapped parking spot, which resulted in Drejka threatening to shoot the man, according to Michael McGlockton.The man, Richard Kelly, confirmed the encounter during an interview with Bay News 9. Given that this wasn’t the first time Drejka has been in an altercation of this kind, Michael McGlockton said he does believe the man was looking for a fight.
Right before the fatal shooting, Jacobs and Drejka got into an argument when she parked her car in a spot designated for a person who is handicapped without the proper permit. Surveillance footage showed 28-year-old McGlockton walk up to 47-year-old Drejka and push him to the ground.
While still on the ground, Drejka took out his firearm and shot McGlockton once in the chest, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. The 28-year-old staggered back inside the convenience store and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Gualtieri said during a previous press conference that Drejka put his firearm in his car and waited for law enforcement to arrive. Drejka had a valid concealed weapons license and was deemed to be protected under the “stand your ground” law.
“He felt, after being slammed to the ground, that the next thing was that he was going to be further attacked by McGlockton,” Gualtieri explained.
Gualtieri added that the law regarding “stand your ground,” is clear and the Florida legislature has set a “subjective” standard that puts Drejka’s decision to shoot quickly in a moment of fear for his life within the “bookends” of the law.
“The immunity that people are granted under the ‘stand your ground’ law is not just an immunity from being charged, not just an immunity from being convicted, but is an immunity from arrest,” Gualtieri told reporters during the press conference. [Newsweek.com]