A Florida man who fatally shot a father during an argument over a parking space may not face charges because of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, but the victim’s girlfriend says the gunman “wanted someone to be angry at.”
Michael Drejka shot and killed 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton on Thursday in a convenience store parking lot in Clearwater, but Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said there would not be an arrest. However, it is up to prosecutors to make the final decision.
The state’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows someone to use deadly force if they believe it necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.
Drejka confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend about parking in a handicapped space, according to authorities. McGlockton, who is black slammed Drejka to the ground, and the 47-year-old Drejka, who is white, responded by shooting the other man in the chest.
McGlockton’s girlfriend Britany Jacobs told ABC News that she and her two young children were “harassed” by Drejka about the parking space.
“He wanted somebody to be angry at,” Jacobs told ABC News. “He just wanted someone to fight him. He was picking a fight. I’m just sitting, waiting for my family to come back to the car.”
She says that her 5-year-old son, who was with his father when he came out of the store, saw the shooting.
“Everybody is panicking … my son is screaming, but it was too late,” she told ABC News. “It’s hard for a 4- or 5-year-old to witness what he saw. … It’s really tough for him.”
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a press conference that the law is on the side of Drejka, who has a concealed carry permit.
“He told deputies that he had to shoot to defend himself. Those are the facts and that’s the law,” he said. “No matter how you slice it or dice it that was a violent push to the ground.”
“He was a good man and all he was trying to do was protect his family,” Jacobs told ABC News. “I just want justice. I need something to be done because this is not right.”