CLEARWATER, Fla. (FOX 13) - One year has passed since Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed in a Clearwater convenience store parking lot. The man who pulled the trigger, Michael Drejka, stands to face a jury next month.
It was one of the most closely watched 'stand your ground' cases in the state. That is until Drejka's defense team announced in June that they wouldn't use the immunity law to try to beat the homicide charges.
Drejka's attorneys are expected to argue self-defense in the killing of McGlockton.
Following the shooting, it took one month for sheriff's deputies to arrest Drejka. Initially, Pinellas County Sherrif Bob Gualtieri said he couldn't arrest Drejka because evidence showed the shooting to be a potential stand your ground case.
"That was a slam to the ground," Gualtieri said a day after the shooting. "So, he pushes him. He violently goes down to the ground. So, he's sitting there, he takes the gun out and what he's saying is in his mind -- the next thing he's thinking -- is, 'This guy's going to come at me again,' and he fires."
The morning after the shooting, FOX 13 was first to report store surveillance footage showing the confrontation leading up to the shooting. In the video, McGlockton is seen leaving his 5-year-old child in the store to step into an argument between his girlfriend Britany Jacobs, and Drejka, over parking in a handicapped spot.
McGlockton approaches Drejka and pushes him from the side, causing Drejka to fall to the ground. As McGlockton turns and begins to walk away, Drejka pulls out a gun and fires a single shot into his chest.
McGlockton then staggered back into the convenience store where he collapsed in front of his 5-year-old child. He died less than an hour later.
When Drejka was arrested and charged with manslaughter nearly a month later, Sheriff Gualtieri said he agreed with the state attorney's decision to press charges.
The defense has now added the sheriff to their own witness list, suggesting to a jury that even Gualtieri thought Drejka was justified in the deadly use of force.
The prosecution will likely call on two key witnesses of their own in order to show Drejka was not simply acting in self defense that day. FOX 13 spoke to Circle A Food Store owner Ali Salous and customer Richard Kelly the morning after the shooting. Both claimed Drejka had threatened to shoot someone over the same handicapped parking space before.
"He did that to many people before. It's not the first time," Salous said.
"He was walking around my pump truck. When I asked what he was doing he flipped out saying he would shoot me," Kelly recalled that day. "Then he called the owner of my company stating that he was going to kill me if he ever saw me again."
Because his defense team will not pursue the immunity law, Drejka will face a jury. His trial is scheduled to begin August 19.