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Man who invoked ‘stand your ground’ defense law in parking lot shooting charged with manslaughter

A Florida state attorney's office has charged a man who shot another man under Florida's "stand your ground" law with manslaughter. (Image source: New York Post video screenshot)

Michael Drejka, the Florida man who fatally shot a black man in a parking lot over a handicapped spot, has been charged with manslaughter.

Drejka, 48, shot Markeis McGlockton, 28, in July in front of McGlockton's girlfriend and three children, ranging in age from 4 months to 5 years old.

What's the background?

McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, reportedly pulled into a handicapped spot at a Circle A convenience store in Clearwater, Florida.

McGlockton went into the convenience store along with the 5-year-old child, and while they were in there, Drejka reportedly confronted Jacobs over her use of the handicapped parking space.

According to surveillance video, when McGlockton saw Drejka confronting Jacobs, McGlockton went outside and pushed Drejka to the ground.

After McGlockton pushed Drejka to the ground, Drejka pulled out a firearm and aimed a shot at McGlockton's chest. McGlockton, who made it back into the store, collapsed as the 5-year-old child looked on, and Jacobs attempted to apply pressure to her boyfriend's wound in order to stop the bleeding.

Drejka had a legal concealed weapons permit.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Drejka would not be arrested for the shooting, and noted that the State Attorney's Office would make the final call on Drejka's fate.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Drejka's fatal shooting of McGlockton was covered under the state's "stand your ground" self-defense law, saying that the slaying 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 added.

Jacobs, however, said that Drejka's shooting of McGlockton was "wrongful death."

"It's messed up," she said. "Markeis is a good man ... he was just protecting us, you know? And it hurts so bad."

What's happening now?

Law enforcement officials charged Drejka with manslaughter in connection with the shooting on Monday.

Drejka was booked at the Pinellas County Jail. His bond was set at $100,000 and he's scheduled to make a court appearance Tuesday.

"The announcement that Michael Drejka will be charged with manslaughter provides our family with a small measure of comfort in our time of profound mourning," McGlockton's family said in a statement. "While this decision cannot bring back our partner, our son, our father, we take solace in knowing our voices are being heard as we work for justice."

The statement added, "This man killed Markeis in cold blood, without a second thought about the devastating impact his actions would have on our family, but this charge gives us a measure of hope that the truth will win and justice will prevail in the end."

Bernie McCabe, who is the state attorney for Pinellas County, said that Drejka "will now go through the court system."

Gualtieri said that he supports McCabe's decision, and "will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system."

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Jacobs, said that he is pleased that McCabe decided to charge Drejka.

"This self-appointed wannabe cop attempted to hide behind 'stand your ground' to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth has finally cut through the noise," Crump said. "I have full faith that this truth will prevail to punish this cold-blooded killer who angrily created the altercation that led to Markeis’ needless death. We will continue to fight until justice is brought for the family of Markeis McGlockton."

One last thing…
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