When 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton went to a convenience store with his girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, 26, and their three kids on July 19, 2018, neither thought it would be their last errand together…ever. No one could predict what was about to happen on that hot summer day in Clearwater, Florida, about 25 miles west of Tampa.
That Fateful Day in July 2018
Markeis McGlockton and Britany, parked in a spot in front of a Clearwater, Florida Circle A Food Store that was marked “handicapped,” and he went into the store with his five-year-old son while Britany and the two younger children waited in the car.
While McGlockton was inside, 49-year-old Michael Drejka noticed McGlockton’s car parked in the handicapped spot and decided to investigate. No one but the parties involved will ever know exactly what was said outside that convenience store over that handicapped parking spot, but we can all see what occurred by watching a few seconds of security camera footage.
As Markeis McGlockton exited the store, he saw Drejka exchanging words with Britany, who was still sitting in the car with the two small children (ages 4 and three months at the time). McGlockton sprang into action and pushed Drejka down onto the ground in what was probably an effort to protect his girlfriend from this man neither of them knew. While Drejka was on the ground, he reached for a .40 caliber Glock handgun, and, three seconds later, he fired the gun at McGlockton, who ran into the store, collapsed, and died right in front of his young son.
In the video of the shooting, you can clearly see that McGlockton was, indeed, walking back away from Drejka who was on the ground. During police questioning, Drejka insisted that he felt his life was in danger and that McGlockton was coming toward him in a threatening manner, even after the investigator told him the video clearly showed McGlockton backing away from Drejka as he had the gun in his hand.
After a little over six hours of deliberation on Friday, August 23, a jury found Drejka guilty of manslaughter. His sentencing is scheduled for October 10, 2019. Bryant Camareno, attorney for Drejka, said he feels his client will get the maximum sentence, but that they would be appealing after the sentencing on October 10.
Reminscient of Trayvon Martin?
Drejka was not arrested at the scene of the shooting of the unarmed McGlockton. In fact, he was not arrested until 25 days after the incident.
The day of the shooting, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri chose not to arrest Djeka because of the “Stand Your Ground” law that went into effect in Florida in 2005. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law allows people to use lethal force if they consider their lives to be in imminent jeopardy.
You may remember the Trayvon Martin shooting, for which George Zimmerman, who claimed self defense, was acquitted on July 13, 2013, almost a year and half after he gunned down 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman shot the unarmed teenager during a physical altercation and was acquitted following a lengthy trial in which he claimed the shooting was self defense.
Florida’s “stand your ground” came into the spotlight during Zimmerman’s trial because some people erroneously believed the shooting was a classic example of how the “Stand Your Ground” law is intended to work. Zimmerman’s defense never claimed the Stand Your Ground defense; instead, his legal team claimed it was classic self defense.