The girlfriend of a Florida man who was shot dead during an altercation over a parking space last week says the gunman “wanted someone to be angry at.”
Britany Jacobs witnessed Michael Drejka, 47, gun down her boyfriend Markeis McGlockton, a 28-year-old father of three, in a convenience store parking lot in Clearwater on Thursday. Police, citing Florida’s “stand your ground” gun law that allows gun owners to use deadly force if they feel threatened, filed no charges.
Jacobs described the shooting and demanded justice in an interview Monday with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“He was a good man,” Jacobs said of McGlockton. “All he was trying to do was just protect his family.”
The confrontation began when McGlockton left his car idling in a handicap space Thursday to run into the store to purchase snacks. Jacobs was waiting in the car with their two children when Drejka approached and began “harassing” her for parking in a handicap space without a permit, she said.
“He wanted somebody to be angry at,” Jacobs said. “He just wanted someone to fight him. He was picking a fight. I’m just sitting, waiting for my family to come back to the car.”
McGlockton, seeing the confrontation, shoved Drejka to the ground, according to Jacobs. That’s when Drejka, who is white, pulled a gun and shot McGlockton, who is black, in the chest, just a few feet from the car, Jacobs said.
“The guy is on the ground and he pulls the gun out,” Jacobs told ABC. “My dude steps back ’cause my dude is fearing for his life ― all of us were.”
McGlockton, wounded, stumbled into the store, where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead roughly 30 minutes later at a hospital.
Drejka told police he feared for his life, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Friday at a press conference, where surveillance video of the shooting was released.
Police, citing the “stand your ground” law, did not arrest Drejka. (More famously, George Zimmerman was acquitted for the shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a trial that provoked intense scrutiny of the law. While Zimmerman did not invoke “stand your ground” in his defense, the judge instructed the jury on the law, and it was cited by a juror after the trial as a factor in their deliberations.)
The sheriff’s office referred Drejka’s case to the state attorney’s office to determine whether he should be charged.
ABC reported that the owner of the convenience store, who was not named, has previously called the police to report Drejka for confronting customers over parking.
“I just want justice,” Jacobs told ABC. “I need something to be done because this is not right.”
Clarification: Language in this story has been amended to clarify the way Florida’s “stand your ground” law factored into Zimmerman’s acquittal.