Shooter in ‘Stand Your Ground’ Killing Arrested
By ANNE LINDBERG
Tampa Bay Reporter
This morning’s arrest came after the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and decided to charge Michael Drejka.
CLEARWATER – Michael Drejka, the man who shot and killed another man in a dispute over a handicapped parking space, has been arrested, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Drejka was charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.
This morning’s (Aug. 13) arrest came after the Office of the State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit reviewed the case. The state attorney’s decision reversed an earlier determination by Pinellas County Sheriff’ Bob Gualtieri not to file charges because, he said, the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law precluded deputies from making an arrest.
“I support the state attorney’s decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system,” Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri’s decision sparked outrage among many in the community and across the nation. Rallies protesting that decision gathered national attention and saw national civil rights leaders and Florida gubernatorial candidates gather to support the McGlockton family, protest the shooting and plead for state legislators to take another look at the law. State Sen. Darryl Rouson, D- St. Petersburg, has asked for a special session of the Legislature to review the law. The Pinellas County Commission has passed a unanimous resolution supporting Rouson’s request.
Gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who attended two rallies to support the McGlocktons, said that the decision to arrest Drejka meant that “justice will be served” for Mr. McGlockton. Gillum also led a sit-in at the office of Gov. Rick Scott and has asked Scott to suspend the law and declare a state of emergency because of confusion over the law.
“I’m relieved Markeis McGlockton’s family and the people of Clearwater will be heard in this horrific tragedy,” Gillum said today. “I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them — and even sit-in when called upon — to make sure Britany Jacobs, Monica Moore-Robinson, Michael McGlockton, and Markeis’ children get the justice they deserve. However, stand your ground still created the environment where the shooter believed he had a legal right to murder Markeis McGlockton. I again call on Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency and suspend this law before someone else gets hurt or killed.”
Gwen Graham, another candidate for governor, said Drejka’s arrest is a “step toward justice,” adding that stand your ground should be repealed.
“Today’s decision to charge Michael Drejka is a step toward justice for Markeis McGlockton — but it also exposes the fatal issues with Florida’s stand your ground law. Stand your ground creates legal loopholes for murderers and ridiculous burdens for local law enforcement. We must repeal it,” Graham said.
She added, “As governor, I will lead an effort to repeal the law and examine legislation that protects those who are legitimately defending themselves, without creating a legal loophole for criminal behavior. I will also create a task force of prosecutors, community and civil rights leaders to take a look at every self-defense case where a death occurs to ensure that the law isn’t allowing criminals to slip through the cracks.”
Ryan Torrens, a Tampa lawyer running for state attorney general, said, “”I am thankful that the state attorney made the right call to bring this man to justice. Unfortunately, justice has been delayed for too long. We look forward to Mr. Drejka being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and we continue to grieve with the McGlockton family. As your next attorney general, I will use the full authority of the office to see that this unconstitutional license to kill known as stand your ground will be struck down and I will advocate aggressively for its repeal in the legislature. No longer will killers in this state be able to hide behind this law to escape justice.”
Gillum, Graham and Torrens are all Democrats.
The shooting happened about 3:28 p.m. July 19 in the parking lot outside the Circle A Food Store at 1201 Sunset Point Road, in the unincorporated Clearwater area.
Deputies said 24-year-old Britany Jacobs was driving her 2016 Chrysler 2000 when she pulled into the convenience store and parked in a handicapped parking space outside the store. Mr. McGlockton, 28, Jacobs’ boyfriend and their 5-year-old son, Markeis McGlockton Jr., got out of the car and went into the convenience store.
Jacobs was waiting outside in the parking lot when she was approached Drejka, 47. Sheriff’s detectives said Drejka and Jacobs got into an argument about Jacobs’ parking in a handicapped parking space.
A witness saw Drejka and Jacobs arguing before walking into the store. While inside the convenient store, the witness told the clerk of the argument occurring in the parking lot.
Witnesses told deputies that Mr. McGlockton exited the store and walked over to Drejka who was still arguing with Jacobs in the parking lot. Witnesses said Mr. McGlockton pushed Drejka causing Drejka to fall to the ground.
Witnesses told detectives that Drejka was on the ground when he took out a handgun and fired one single round at Mr. McGlockton striking him in the chest. Mr. McGlockton walked back into the convenient store where he collapsed.
Several witnesses called 911 as the incident unfolded.
When deputies arrived, Drejka was cooperative with deputies. Drejka told deputies he placed his firearm in his Toyota 4-Runner before they arrived.
Paramedics responded and took Mr. McGlockton to Morton Plant Hospital for life-threatening injuries.
Deputies took Drejka to the North District Station located at 2496 Bayshore Blvd. in Dunedin, so he could be interviewed by detectives.
Deputies took possession of Drejka’s handgun. Drejka has a valid Florida concealed weapons license.
Mr. McGlockton was pronounced dead at Morton Plant Hospital at about 4:04 p.m.
Pinellas Sheriff | Markeis McGlockton | Michael Drejka | Stand Your Ground | Crime | Arrests | Tampabay News | Local News
#PinellasSheriff #MarkeisMcGlockton #MichaelDrejka #StandYourGround #Crime #Arrests #TampabayNews #LocalNews