An autopsy in the July shooting outside a Florida convenience store that sparked outrage and a renewed debate over controversial Stand Your Ground laws showed the victim was not moving toward the shooter.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office released their findings on Tuesday, saying that the path in which the bullet entered and exited 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton was consistent with surveillance video outside the Clearwater store showing him not moving toward 47-year-old Michael Drejka.
Authorities on Monday released hundreds of new pages in the case where Drejka said that if McGlockton had retreated, or even stayed still, he wouldn't have used his gun.
McGlockton had confronted Drejka initially after he spotted the man arguing with his girlfriend over a handicapped parking space – all while the couple’s young children were in the car.
Britany Jacobs, whose interview with officers was in the newly released documents, said after parking, the 28-year-old McGlockton had gone into the store. That's when another vehicle pulled up and a man later identified as Drejka got out and started looking at her car in the disabled spot, then started hassling her, saying, "'Well, you need to move your car,' and all this and this, you know, 'Cause, you know, I got family that's handicapped,' and all this and this. So, I'm saying, 'Dude, uh, no. I don't know you, so, you know, leave me alone.'"
The two exchanged more heated words. McGlockton then came out of the store and knocked Drejka to the pavement.
"Markeis came running out and he pushed him," Jacobs said. "He was like, you know -- you know, um, 'Stay away from my girl,' or something, he said. And then all of a sudden, dude was on the ground, and he pulled out a gun and shot him."
Said Jacobs: "All he did was backed up. 'Cause, you know, anybody, you know, with a gun pointed at him, he gonna, you know, shut up and not say nothing."
NBC affiliate WFLA-TV reports that the autopsy also showed McGlockton had traces of the drug ecstasy in his system at the time of the shooting, likely ingested shortly before the incident. The station also reported that Drejka told investigators he has been taking the anti-anxiety drug Xanax as well as anti-depressant and sleeping pills while drinking two energy drinks each day.
During the interview, the retired tree trimmer said he'd carried a gun since he was 22, and that people parking illegally in handicapped spots at that store was a pet peeve, and that he'd approached people before.
"Does it ever go through your mind ... that they might not take that right? That this might go sideways a little bit?" the detective asked.
"Um, well, sure. But that's why I take precautions, as well," Drejka said.
When asked what kind of precautions, Drejka replied: "Well, I'm a very careful person and I have a permit."
In an interview with a local TV station since his arrest, Drejka said that parking spaces for the disabled "have always touched a nerve" because his high school girlfriend and his mother-in-law used disabled parking spots.
McGlockton's family has been outspoken in their dismay over how the case was handled, and hired attorney Benjamin Crump, who gained national prominence representing the family of Trayvon Martin after the black teen's fatal shooting by a Hispanic man in 2012.