The Slatest

Florida Gunman Who Killed Father of Three in Parking Space Dispute Won’t Be Arrested

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri briefs the press on July 20, 2018.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri briefs the press on July 20, 2018.

A 47-year-old man in Clearwater, Florida who shot and killed a father of three during a heated dispute over a parking space will not face any criminal charges. Even though there is surveillance video that clearly shows how Michael Drejka, 47, shot Markeis McGlockton, 28, in the chest the gunman is protected by the state’s “stand your ground” law, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

The shooting “is within the bookends of ‘stand your ground’ and within the bookends of force being justified,” Gualtieri said at a news conference. He later emphasized that “I’m not saying I agree with it, but I don’t make that call.” The case will now be sent to the State Attorney’s Office for a final decision on whether charges should be filed. “The state attorney will review it and either he’ll concur or not. And, if he concurs, then there’ll be no charge. Period. If he doesn’t concur, then he’ll make a determination as to what to do with it,” the sheriff said.

The fatal encounter took place Thursday afternoon, when Brittany Jacobs, 24, was sitting in her car in a handicapped parking space outside a convenience store. Her boyfriend, McGlockton, was inside the store with their five-year-old son. That is when Drejka approached Jacobs and got into an argument about the parking spot. After some loud arguing, the surveillance video shows how McGlockton left the store and pushed Drejka to the ground. The video then shows how Drejka reached for his gun and fired at McGlockton’s chest. The 28-year-old stumbled back into the store, where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Gualtieri emphasized that McGlockton’s push wasn’t just a regular shove but “he really slammed him to the ground.” He also said that Drejka said he feared that McGlockton would attack him again. “He felt after being slammed to the ground that the next thing was that he was going to be further attacked by McGlockton,” the sheriff said.

In an interview with Tampa’s Fox13 the owner of the convenience store where the shooting took place said Drejka had gotten into an argument over the parking space before. “I told him, ‘Don’t do that,’ and he won’t listen,” Ali Salous said.*

Jacobs vowed to continue seeking justice for her late boyfriend. “I could have been hurt, my kids could have been hurt, he shot, fired in front the kids which was real messed up,” Jacobs said. “And all Markeis did was try to protect his family, he didn’t do nothing wrong, he didn’t do nothing wrong.”

Correction, July 22, 2018: This post initially misidentified the person with whom the owner of the convenience store argued over the parking space. It was Michael Drejka, not Markeis McGlockton.