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Arrest Made In Stand Your Ground Case, Shooter Charged With Manslaughter

Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed at this Clearwater convenience store. The shooter was not initially arrested because of the 'stand your ground' law.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

There has been an arrest in the Clearwater 'stand your ground' case.

The State Attorney's office is charging Micheal Drejka with manslaughter in the death of Markeis McGlockton.

According to a press release, an arrest warrant was issued this Monday morning and Drejka is being booked into the Pinellas County Jail. His bond has been set at $100,000. 

 McGlockton, a 28-year-old black man, was fatally shot last month in a parking dispute by Drejka, who is 47 and white.   The encounter between the two men began when Drejka approached McGlockton's girlfriend in the parking lot of the Circle A Food Store, complaining that she was illegally parked in a disabled spot. McGlockton came out of the store and pushed Drejka to the ground. Video from the convenience store cameras shows that Drejka then pulled out a gun and shot McGlockton.  The couple’s 4-month-old and 3-year-old were in the car. Their 5-year-old, named after McGlockton, was in the store.  

In July, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Drejka had not been arrested because of the state’s “stand your ground” law.

That legislation, passed in 2005, expanded on when and where a citizen can use deadly force against another.

In a statement Monday, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, "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."

The family for Markeis McGlockton and their lawyers have also released statements on the arrest of Michael Drejka.

Statement from the family of Markeis McGlockton in response to Michael Drejka being charged with manslaughter

“The announcement that Michael Drejka will be charged with manslaughter provides our family with a small measure of comfort in our time of profound mourning. While this decision cannot bring back our partner, our son, our father, we take solace in knowing our voices are being heard as we work for justice. This man killed Markeis in cold blood, without a second thought about the devastating impact his actions would have on our family, but this charge gives us a measure of hope that the truth will win and justice will prevail in the end.”

Statement from Attorney Ben Crump in response to Michael Drejka being charged with manslaughter

“My first thought on hearing this news was: It’s about time. I firmly stand behind the decision by the State Attorney's Office to charge Michael Drejka with manslaughter for killing Markeis McGlockton. This self-appointed wannabe cop attempted to hide behind ‘Stand Your Ground’ to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth has finally cut through the noise. I have full faith that this truth will prevail to punish this cold-blooded killer who angrily created the altercation that led to Markeis’ needless death. We will continue to fight until justice is brought for the family of Markeis McGlockton.”

Statement from Clearwater Attorney Michele Rayner in Response to Michael Drejka being charged with manslaughter

“On behalf of the family of Markeis McGlockton, I commend the office of State Attorney Bernie McCabe for charging Michael Drejka with manslaughter for his cold-blooded actions. This is a big step forward in the direction of justice, not only for Markeis’ family but also for society as a whole.”



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Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.