A controversy is brewing over a recent shooting. An argument over a handicapped parking space escalated quickly. One of the shoved the other to the ground. The man on the ground then drew a handgun, aimed it at the other man, and shot him. It was a fatal wound, and the man who fired the shot, police say, may have acted lawfully.
“Michael Drejka, 47, was cleared by police in Thursday’s shooting of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton [above] in Clearwater, Florida, where an argument over proper parking etiquette took a deadly turn,” The Daily Mail writes.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference and explained that the shooting “is within the bookends of stand your ground and within the bookends of force being justified.”
“I’m not saying I agree with it,” he added, “but I don’t make that call.”
The incident was caught on camera. McGlockton arrived at the Circle-A Food Store in a Chrysler 2000 driven by Britany Jacobs. This was about 3:30 pm Friday.
Jacobs appears to park in the handicapped parking space. McGlockton and his son get out of the car. Jacobs waits for them.
Drejka then pulls up in a Toyota 4-Runner. He gets into a verbal altercation with Jacobs about her choice of parking space. “Police say the argument became ‘heated’ but did not involve any threats,” DM notes.
A witness to the verbal altercation then went into the store and told the attendant that there was a disturbance in the parking lot.
McGlockton exited the store and found Drejka and shoved him to the ground. It is this assault that initiated the use of deadly force.
McGlockton hesitates over the fallen Drejka. Drejka then pulls a concealed handgun and fires a round into McGlockton’s chest.
“Police say the men did not exchange words through the entire incident,” DM adds. “McGlockton turned and stumbled back inside the store and was soon pronounced dead at an area hospital.”
“It’s a wrongful death,” Jacobs told reporters. “It’s messed up. Markeis is a good man … He was just protecting us, you know? And it hurts so bad.”
The police, after speaking with witnesses and watching the tape, feel like Drejka acted within his rights.
“I’m a firm believe in the adage just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” Sheriff Gualtieri said. “But I’ll also say this, I’m also not going to substitute my judgement for Drejka’s judgement sitting on that ground, after having been slammed to the ground.”
“He made a decision. So it really doesn’t matter what I would have done or what anybody else would have done… he’s just a citizen, and he felt he had to defend himself.”