A shooting took place Thursday in a convenience store parking lot in Clearwater, Florida. The incident was caught by a security camera.
Michael Drejka, a store regular, was reportedly upset about a vehicle parked in a handicapped space and said something to the woman waiting in the car. He was talking to her when her boyfriend came out of the store.
Surveillance video shows Markeis McGlockton leave the store to defend his girlfriend and shove Drejka hard to the ground.
Drejka then pulls out a gun and shoots McGlockton in the chest.
McGlockton died right in front of his 5-year-old son.
In the video above, after pushing him to the ground, McGlockton backs away when he sees Drejka draw his firearm, a fact that will shed at least some doubt on the level of threat McGlockton presented.
As was endlessly written about during George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting (even though a “stand your ground” defense was never asserted), Florida’s Justifiable Use of Force law imposes no duty to retreat. It reads:
A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
In this case, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has decided that he won’t be charging Drejka based on the evidence and the language of the “stand your ground” law. He has, however, forwarded the case to prosecutors for review.
Real-time action and reaction are easy to second-guess when reviewed in slow motion. But based on the video evidence, it’s not at all unreasonable to question Drejka’s use of deadly force in this case. Pressure on Bernie McCabe, the State Attorney for Pinellas County, to charge the shooter will be intense. Mr. Drejka will probably need a good attorney.
Is that how you see it?