A white Florida man was convicted of manslaughter after shooting a black man during an argument over a handicapped space in a convenience store parking lot.
Michael Drejka confronted Markeis McGlockton’s girlfriend while McGlockton was inside the store. Security footage showed McGlockton exit the store and shoved Drejka to the ground. Drejka then pulled out a handgun and shot McGlockton as he backed away.
Drejka did not testify during the trial, but his interview with detectives after the shooting was played for the jury. In the interview, Drejka said he had a “pet peeve” about people abusing handicapped parking spaces.
Drejka saw the car in the space and examined it for indication that it belonged to a handicapped person. McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, rolled down the window to ask what he was doing and he said he told her it was “not very polite” to park in the spot which started an argument.
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Jacobs testified that Drejka was yelling and pointing at her in the car before she rolled down the window.
Jacobs and a witness, Robert Castelli, both also testified that McGlockton was backing up, refuting Drejka’s claim that he shot the man in self-defense.
Asked why he shot McGlockton in the video, Drejka said “I have never been in that situation before, but I thought kicks were coming... I think he is coming to do the rest of it.”
The six-person jury deliberated for six hours before voting to convict. Drejka faces up to 30 years in prison.
His attorneys said they planned to file an appeal.