Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said a fatal shooting in a parking log dispute fell "within the bookends of stand your ground," meaning the use of force was justified. (Image source: New York Post video screenshot)
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A man who shot and killed someone in a dispute over a handicap parking space was justified in his use of force and is protected by Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law, a local sheriff said Friday.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, 47-year-old Michael Drejka will not be arrested for the shooting, although the State Attorney's Office will make a final determination.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the shooting was "within the bookends of stand your ground and within the bookends of force being justified."
"I'm not saying I agree with it, but I don't make that call," Gualtieri said during a press conference.
Thursday afternoon, Britany Jacobs pulled into a Circle A convenience store, with her boyfriend Markeis McGlockton and three kids also in the car. The children are 5 years old, 3 years old, and 4 months old.
Jacobs parked in a handicap spot, which she said was because the parking lot was crowded (although the surveillance video shows some nearby open parking spots). McGlockton went into the store, along with the oldest child.
While they were in the store, Drejka confronted Jacobs just outside the entrance about parking in the spot. McGlockton, upon witnessing the confrontation, comes out of the store and pushes Drejka to the ground. While on the ground, Drejka pulls out his weapon and fires one shot into McGlockton's chest.
McGlockton stumbled back into the store and collapsed, dying from the gunshot wound as his 5-year-old son looked on and as Jacobs tried to apply pressure to the wound and stop the bleeding.
Below is a video of the incident from the store surveillance camera, showing both the push and the gunshot that killed McGlockton:
Potential legal action
Jacobs insists that the use of deadly force was excessive in that situation, and is in the process of hiring a lawyer to seek justice.
"It's a wrongful death," Jacobs said to the Tampa Bay Times. "It's messed up. Markeis is a good man ... he was just protecting us, you know? And it hurts so bad."
(H/T New York Post)