Backlash continues following 'Stand Your Ground' shooting
CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - A deadly dispute over a parking spot in Clearwater has grabbed national headlines and sparked backlash about the "Stand Your Ground" law in the Sunshine State.
Flowers, candles and words of support make up the growing memorial outside the Circle A Food Store with protestors demanding justice for Markeis McGlockton. Over the weekend, protests and vigils were held for the 28-year-old and his family.
"All Markeis did was try to protect his family, he didn't do nothing wrong," said Britany Jacobs, McGlockton's girlfriend. "He didn't do nothing wrong."
Last Thursday, McGlockton shoved Michael Drejka to the ground after the 47-year-old confronted Jacobs for idling the car in the handicapped spot. Within seconds, Drejka pulled out his gun, killing McGlockton with one bullet in the chest.
"This guy believes in his mind that he's gonna be harmed again and he had to shoot to defend himself, and those are the facts and this is the law," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
Drejka has not been arrested or charged for the fatal shooting because of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. The owner of the Clearwater mini-mart tells FOX 13 Drejka has confronted others for parking in the handicapped spot before.
"He did that to many people before, it's not the first time he do it," Circle A Food Store owner Ali Salous said. He recalled contacting authorities last month after one of those confrontations with a customer.
"He flipped out saying he would shoot me," said Richard Kelly.
Drejka does not have a criminal history, but back in 2012, Drejka was accused of pulling out a handgun during a road-rage incident. The driver declined to press charges, and Drejka denied showing the weapon.
The case is now being sent to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office for review. The lawyer representing the McGlockton family tell FOX 13 they plan to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to put pressure on officials to charge Drejka.
McGlockton's criminal record includes drug charges, petit theft, and an aggravated battery arrest that all happened before 2011.