(AP/WWSB/RNN) – Though the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office declined to charge a man over a fatal shooting in a Clearwater, FL, parking lot, citing the "Stand Your Ground" law, the state attorney is moving forward with manslaughter charges.
On July 19, Michael Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton.
The 47-year-old said he was defending himself against McGlockton and that he was in fear for his life during a dispute over a parking space.
Drejka berated a woman who parked illegally in a handicapped parking space while her boyfriend McGlockton went inside the store.
Seeing the confrontation, McGlockton, 28, came out of the store and pushed Drejka to the ground. Drejka then took out his gun and shot McGlockton.
"No law should be able to protect somebody to the point that they kill somebody on the street and they can lay in the bed the same night,” McGlockton's father Michael said.
“To me and my family, that's a slap in the face. (Drejka) would've thought twice before he pulled the trigger. With the law, he knew that he could hide behind that."
"Stand Your Ground" was enacted in 2005 and allows anyone to use deadly force if they believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm. The person who feels they are being threatened has no obligation to retreat from the confrontation.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri declined to press charges against Drejka.
"I didn't make the law, and I do not do what people want because of outrage,” he said. “If you're outraged by the law and don't like the law, then change it."
Gualtieri referred the case to state prosecutors. On Monday, the state attorney charged Drejka with manslaughter. He was arrested and taken to Pinellas County Jail on $100,000 bond.
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