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A 28 year old father of three was shot and killed during a confrontation over a parking space in Clearwater, Florida and no charges will be filed against the shooter, Michael Dejka under the “Stand Your Grand” law.  Marquis McGlockton was shot once in the chest by but died from his injury in front of his five year old son.  The shooting took place outside the Circle A Food Store in Clearwater, Florida and was captured on the store’s surveillance camera footage.

McGlockton and his girlfriend Britany Jacobs, 24, parked in a handicapped-accessible spot outside the store.  McGlockton and his 5 year old son entered the store to buy snacks while Jacobs stayed in the car with their other two children.  Michael Drejka, 47, approached Jacobs and the two began arguing about her parking in the handicapped parking space without a permit.

McGlockton came outside, walked over to Drejka while he was arguing and violently pushed him hard enough to knock him to the ground.  As Drejka pulled out a handgun while he was on the ground, McGlockton begins to back away.  Drejka shot McGlockton once in the chest and McGlockton walked back into the convenient store while holding his chest, where he collapsed.  Brittany Jacobs ran into the store and began applying pressure to the wound as the clerk called 911.

Drejka was cooperative with deputies and had a valid Florida concealed weapons license.  Sheriff Gualtieri said during a press conference that the only relevant issue is whether Drejka was in fear of further bodily harm from McGlockton.  “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.  Gualtieri said “The framework of Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law was changed this year.  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.  Nowhere else is there anything like this in criminal law where somebody asserts something and the burden then shifts to the other person,” Gualtieri said. “That’s a very heavy standard and it puts the burden on the state.”

The owner of Circle A Food Store told new outlets that Drejka had a history of harassing people over parking spaces and they have had to call the police on him for it.  A regular customer at the store, Rick Kelly said that 2 months ago he parked his tanker truck in the same handicapped spot and was confronted by Drejka.  Drejka walked around his truck, looking for handicap decals, then demanded to know why Kelly had parked there.  Kelly says that at one point Drejka threatened to shoot Kelly and called the company where he worked-threatening to kill him.

During the press conference, reporters asked Gualtieri whether the fact that Drejka initiated the incident made him more culpable — pointing to previous complaints the sheriff’s office has received about him.  “What’s relevant is not whether this guy’s a good guy, nice guy, or whether he’s a jerk, or whether he’s a thorn in people’s side and what he’s done, whether it’s three weeks ago, three months ago or three years ago,” Gualtieri said. “What’s relevant and the only thing we can look at here is was he in fear of further bodily harm.”  He added that 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.  “Unfortunately, Markeis wouldn’t be dead if Markeis didn’t slam this guy to the ground,” Gualtieri said.  He added that the police department will not be filing charges against Drejka and the case will go to the state attorney, who can decide if there is just cause to file charges.

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