There is a video going viral all over the net of a Florida man having an argument at the window of a car that had basically ‘illegally’ parked in a handicapped spot in front of a Circle A convenience store in Clearwater, that turned deadly when the woman who was in the car’s boyfriend came out of the store to confront the man having the argument with his girl. Once the boyfriend came out of the store, he immediately shoved the man to the ground very hard. The man retaliated with a single gunshot to the chest of the boyfriend.
The shooting took place on Thursday after Britany Jacobs, 24, had parked in a handicapped spot at the Circle A Food Store in Clearwater, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s detectives said Michael Drejka, 47, approached Jacobs while her boyfriend Markeis McGlockton, and the couple’s 5-year-old son, Markeis Jr., went into the Circle A store. Drejka and Jacobs began arguing about her parking in the handicapped parking space.
Witnesses say that McGlockton came outside, walked over to Drejka while he was arguing and “forcibly pushed” Drejka, causing him to fall pretty hard as seen in the video. He was pushed with a lot of force, however, there does not seem to be much of a follow-through from McGlockton with more force after the shove.
“This is a violent push, this wasn’t a shove, this wasn’t just a tap,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a Friday press conference.
“Witnesses say McGlockton walked back into the convenience store where he collapsed,” the release stated. He was taken to a hospital where he died.
Drejka, the man who shot, was cooperative with deputies. He did have a valid Florida concealed weapons license. The statement did not indicate whether Jacobs’ car had a handicapped sticker. We will assume it did not since there was beef over the whole thing in the first place.
Sheriff Gualtieri said the only relevant issue is whether Drejka was in fear of further bodily harm from McGlockton. This is where the whole ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is up for question.
“He felt, after being slammed to the ground, that the next thing was that he was going to be further attacked by McGlockton,” Gualtieri said, adding that the time between Drejka hitting the ground and shooting was about four to five seconds.
The framework of Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law was actually changed this year, Gualtieri said. Before, the defendant/shooter used “stand your ground” as a defense and had to prove they were in fear of further body harm, the law now says the state attorney has to provide “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant/shooter is not entitled to “stand your ground” immunities.
Gualtieri said the case will go to the state attorney. In the meanwhile, “Drejka will not be charged, will not be arrested by us … either (the state attorney) will concur or not and if he concurs, there will be no arrest.”
In his remarks Friday, the sheriff added that while others can debate the law as it applies in this incident, “I just ask everybody to understand … I don’t make the law. But I will enforce the law and I will enforce it fairly as the legislature has directed that it be enforced. And under these circumstances, this fits within the framework that the Florida Legislature has crafted.” This may be hard for a lot of people to swallow, but it is the law in this state.
But Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend, thinks Drejka was wrong.
“It shouldn’t be right because he came approaching me and all Markeis did was try to protect us and protect this family and it’s wrong because he shot fire in front of my son,” she said.
Gualtieri says there’s no evidence that Drejka posed a threat to McGlockton’s family, it was strictly a verbal argument, but McGlockton did engage in unlawful conduct when he pushed Drejka.
“Markeis wouldn’t be dead if Markeis didn’t slam this guy to the ground,” Gualtieri said.