'Stand Your Ground' shooter: "I was scared"

Michael Drejka has been in jail since his August 13 arrest. Charged with manslaughter for killing Markeis McGlockton, the 48-year-old broke his silence.

FOX 13 News obtained a recording of a jailhouse interview Drejka did with WTSP. He spoke about his life and how he is an average, normal person. Drejka also touched on the July shooting outside of a Clearwater convenience store.

The shooting led to protests in Clearwater and across the nation after Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri chose to hand over the case evidence to the State Attorney’s Office, and not arrest Drejka. At the time, he said recent changes to the Stand Your Ground law prevented him from making an arrest after Drejka claimed he fired his weapon to defend himself.

“I was very scared, I’ve never been confronted like that, never been assaulted like that, ever,” Drejka said in the interview Friday. “It felt like I was tackled or someone hit me from behind with something, I left my feet and slid along the ground."

The shooting was captured on surveillance video. Investigators said the Drejka confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend after parking in a handicapped spot at the Circle A Food Store on Sunset Point Road. McGlockton is seen in the video shoving Drejka to the ground, then pausing. Drejka pulled out his handgun and fired one shot, striking the 27-year-old in the chest. 

McGlockton walked back into the store, and collapsed. He passed away about 30 minutes later at Morton Plant Hospital.

Since the deadly confrontation, there have been protests and McGlockton’s family has been outspoken about their feelings. Drejka says he and his wife have received threats and he feels helpless and locked up while she deals with financial issues and moving out of their home.