Michael Drejka, 49, was found guilty of manslaughter in Pinellas County, Florida on Friday in the shooting death of 29-year-old Markeis McGlockton, meaning Drejka faces up to 30 years behind bars.
Drejka maintained that he was defending himself, but investigators said surveillance footage showed that the victim was moving away at the time of the shooting. Drejka was also accused of being gun-happy and aggressive in an earlier confrontation over the same spot.
The killing occurred on July 19, 2018 at a Circle A Food Store, according to the criminal complaint obtained by Law&Crime. McGlockton, his girlfriend, and their three children went there (she has since given birth to their fourth child). The girlfriend said she had parked on the west side of the store because of congestion in front, detectives said. McGlockton and their five-year-old son left the vehicle to pick up food and drinks. The girlfriend stayed behind with the other two kids.
Drejka confronted the girlfriend for parking in a handicap spot. A witness at the store told detectives that the defendant was loud and talking with his hand, according to the complaint. He said it was bad enough that he considered stepping in on behalf of the woman. In the end, it was McGlockton who left the store and stepped in. According to the complaint, surveillance footage showed him pushing Drejka to the ground. The defendant then pulled out a gun. Video showed the unarmed victim turning away when the shooter fired, detectives said.
McGlockton escaped into the store and fell on the ground in front of his 5-year-old son.
Authorities said there were three prior incidents in which Drejka was allegedly aggressive. The third incident allegedly involved a handicap space. He allegedly got into an argument with a truck driver at the Circle A Food Store for parking on the spot, used racial slurs, said he was going to shoot the person, and went to his SUV to get something from the center console area. The truck driver left the scene, detectives said. But that wasn’t the end of it. Drejka allegedly spoke with the driver’s employer and said he was lucky he didn’t blow the employee’s head off. That boss said he realized he couldn’t have a productive conversation with Drejka, according to the complaint.
Drejka’s sentencing is scheduled for October 10.
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Mugshot via Pinellas County]