Deadly shooting over parking spot puts Florida's 'stand your ground' law back in spotlight

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Florida’s controversial "stand your ground" law is back in the national spotlight after a man was shot and killed after a fight over a convenience store parking space.

The gunman will not be charged, deputies said.

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The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said Michael Drejka, of Clearwater, confronted Britany Jacobs, who was sitting in her car as it was parked in a handicapped parking space on Thursday.

Drejka and Jacobs, who is not handicapped, started to argue about the parking space as Jacobs’ boyfriend Markeis McGlockton was inside the store.

Surveillance video from the store shows McGlockton leave to defend Jacobs. Moments later, he shoves Drejka hard to the ground.

Drejka then pulls out a gun and shoots McGlockton in the chest. McGlockton ran back into the store, clutching his chest. He later died from his injuries.

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"I could have been killed. My kids could have been killed," Jacobs told Tampa's ABC affiliate.

McGlockton’s five-year-old son witnessed the shooting.

"I need justice, and this is not right at all," said Jacobs. "How is this 'stand your ground' law? It's not. It's not, and I need help."

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The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said they won't file charges against Drejka under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

"He had to shoot to defend himself. Those are the facts and that is the law," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. "No matter how you slice it or dice it, that was a violent push to the ground."

In 2013, the controversial law became the subject of national debate when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Sanford. Zimmerman was later tried and acquitted.

Read: Judge in Zimmerman case warns against opening 'old wounds'

Drejka is a legal concealed weapons permit holder and will not be charged because of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The store owner tells Tampa's ABC affiliate that Drejka has a history of assaulting people in the very parking lot where the shooting took place.

Tampa's ABC affiliate knocked on the door at Drejka's clearwater home over the weekend, but a sign posted outside said "no comment."

Sheriff Gualtieri held a press conference today and provided the media with the facts surrounding the shooting that...

Posted by Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Friday, July 20, 2018