Ask an Attorney: Prosecutor, Defense Attorney Discuss Controversial Florida Parking Lot Shooting

What follows any controversial deadly encounter caught on camera is a barrage of opinions from keyboard commandoes and wannabe legal experts claiming to know “the truth” about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, about whether the use of force was justified, about what will happen to the defendant, etc. etc. etc.

While it’s fine for average Joes to weigh in, it’s quite another when they attempt to pass off their opinions as real expertise. In an attempt to elevate the level of discussion out here on the Interwebs, GunsAmerica reached out to two attorneys to get actual professional insight on that fatal shooting in a Florida parking lot last month that has everyone talking (see video above).

One is a defense attorney who specializes in all things 2A-related and who regularly handles firearms criminal defense cases; the other is a 2A-friendly prosecutor with tons of jury trial experience prosecuting murders and an Iraq war vet. Both asked that we not disclose their identities because they’d rather not deal with butthurt Internet trolls messaging them at their offices.

The Q&A:

Question 1. To start, let’s forget Florida law and the specific details of the case for just a moment, and just ask a general question. Under what circumstances, if any, is one justified in using deadly force against an individual who just shoved him or her to the ground?

Seems to me that if there’s not a glaring disparity of force in play, like maybe a grown man violently shoving a fragile 90-year-old woman to the ground and seriously injuring her, then it’s hard to think of a situation when a shove warrants the use of lethal force. Your thoughts?

Defense Attorney: I agree. I think it’s really a stretch to think there’s ever a time that you could simply shoot someone for just pushing you to the ground. Usually, to justify using deadly force you need to have a reasonable belief that you are going to be seriously injured or killed. Being pushed just doesn’t get you there. I’m not sure that a disparity of force would even get you there unless you reasonably believed the violence was going to continue and that this was your only chance to survive being killed. If we want to get creative, we could argue that a push could be deadly if it was over a cliff, or into a speeding car, raging river, etc. Even that is different from the facts here because in those examples it’s not the push that will cause you the imminent harm, it’s the landing.

Prosecutor: Let me put it this way. Unless you are made of glass and your bones will shatter from the fall, you do NOT have the right to use deadly force from a mere shove to the ground. The jury is not going to buy that as a reasonable use of force in any state.

Question 2. Turning to the case, the available facts indicate that 47-year-old Michael Drejka shot and killed 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton in July after McGlockton shoved Drejka the ground. What prompted McGlockton to push Drejka was the fact that Drejka had confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend who had parked in a handicap space at a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri initially announced that he would not arrest Drejka because the shooting “is within the bookends of ‘stand your ground’ and within the bookends of force being justified.” He added, “I’m not saying I agree with it, but I don’t make that call.”

We found out this week, however, that Pinellas County State Attorney Bernie McCabe is charging Drejka with “manslaughter.”

“I went through it all and made the legal decision that that is the charge that we could prove,” McCabe told NBC News.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but is it common for there to be such a disconnect between the way law enforcement analyzes a case and the way prosecutors analyze a case? I mean there’s a huge gap between “That shooting was lawful, so no arrest” and “Nope, that’s manslaughter,” right?

Defense Attorney: It’s actually pretty common for law enforcement to get this stuff wrong. This is complicated stuff. Remember that most of the time law enforcement aren’t lawyers, they didn’t go to law school or pass the bar. They get trained and taught by lawyers and, let’s face it, even lawyers get stuff wrong regularly. Most people don’t know but there is a prosecutor on call in most counties all night long to answer legal questions for police officers. In fact, if law enforcement didn’t ever make mistakes there’d be almost no need for defense attorneys. Also, the prosecutor, in this case, had time to review the video, read the police reports, study the law, and make a decision on what he feels he can prove to a jury. The police had to decide on the scene what to do without the benefit of hindsight, and they chose not to arrest.

I’m sure the reason Drejka is being charged with manslaughter rather than murder is because there’s a defense to murder if provoked by a hit or a push called the “heat of passion” wherein you have an uncontrollable state of mind. It doesn’t usually get you off, but often will reduce a charge from murder to manslaughter.

Prosecutor: I’m finding it very hard not to criticize law enforcement on this. They should have been able to see the video immediately at the scene, and we depend on them to understand the basics. It was patently the wrong call. “Within the bookends of stand your ground?” BZZZZ! Wrong! Stand your ground means that Drejka did not have to run away. It did not (and would not in Florida or any other state) relieve Drejka of the need to “reasonably believe[] that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself” before he shoots! Florida Code 776.012, 776.013. That reasonable belief that deadly force is needed to save is written into every self-defense law in the nation, including Stand Your Ground states. Any presumption of innocence in this case was clearly rebutted by the video depiction of the crime. Yeah, the cops got it wrong. Embarrassing.

Question 3. Speaking of Stand Your Ground, which states in part, “A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony…” does it apply to this case?

Defense Attorney: I think that you’re looking at the wrong part of the statute. What you’re looking at are the requirements to use deadly force or to threaten someone with deadly force. We often call those the requirements for self-defense. If you don’t meet those requirements and you use deadly force you could be charged with murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, or aggravated battery. If you don’t meet those requirements and you threaten someone with deadly force you could be charged with aggravated assault, or brandishing.

Generally, “stand your ground” literally means that you don’t have a duty to retreat or run if you’re in a place that you are legally and lawfully allowed to be in. In plain English, you don’t need to run if you aren’t breaking any laws or if the conflict isn’t your fault. It does not give you the right to use deadly force. The only the time a person can use deadly force is if that person, “reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony…”.

Imminent death would be death that is just about to happen, death on the verge of happening, death that is going to happen at any moment, etc.

Great bodily harm would be things like, loss of a limb or organ, brain damage, rape, etc.

The majority of states have Stand Your Ground laws. When you combine Stand Your Ground with the Self Defense laws it allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves or others from people that would kill or seriously injure them and removes the requirement to run away from danger. It’s that simple.

Also, in this situation, I think you could make a case for McGlockton having the right to stand his ground and protect his girlfriend. The facts, as I understand them, are that Drejka was harassing McGlockton’s girlfriend for parking in a handicapped parking space. Drejka is not law enforcement and has no right to be enforcing the law. There’s a possibility, depending on the level of harassment, that McGlockton was legally defending his girlfriend when he pushed Drejka.

Prosecutor: Agreed. Stand Your Ground laws meant that Drejka did not have to run away. But that doesn’t mean he could blow this guy away without any reasonable fear for his life. Leftists like to treat this case like Stand Your Ground actually allows the use of deadly force here. That is misinformation, and when misinformed conservatives agree with it, they are playing into liberal hands.

Question 4. It appears from the video that McGlockton made no further attempt to physically harm or attack Drejka. Yet, Drejka drew his gun and fired anyhow. Supposing that’s the gist of it and there’s nothing else to contradict that analysis, does that rise to the level of imminent death or great bodily harm?

Defense Attorney: I certainly think that Drejka made a huge mistake. I didn’t see any actions from McGlockton that made me think Drejka was in imminent danger of death or bodily harm. McGlockton had no weapon and his body language wasn’t aggressive after the push. It looks to me like he wanted Drejka to leave his girlfriend alone. I don’t know what was said but usually it takes more than words to create imminent danger.

I’m a huge believer in self-defense, stand your ground, and the Second Amendment. I would struggle with being Drejka’s defense attorney in this case because I think he took a life that he wasn’t justified in taking.

Prosecutor: This video just flat-out convicts Drejka. It’s just so hard to justify shooting someone as they walk away. It just makes it impossible to effectively argue that Drejka had a reasonable belief of imminent death or great bodily harm.

Question 5. Lastly, what advice would you give to concealed carriers who find themselves in a situation where they notice someone breaking the law, assuming it’s not a forcible felony?

Defense Attorney: Most of the time my advice is to call 911, be a good witness, take notes, pictures, or video and try not to get involved. If it’s a forcible felony (rape, kidnap, murder, etc.) or someone is in imminent danger of serious injury or death, then you have a harder decision to make. Proceed with caution, be skeptical, and avoid shooting your gun unless it’s absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, make sure you hit what you are aiming at. Afterward, don’t talk to the police or anyone else until you’ve consulted an attorney.

Prosecutor: For misdemeanors, don’t try to be the police – call them instead. If someone is being attacked, just remember that you have to reasonably believe that they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm before you use deadly force. And remember you have to live with your decision long term.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 59 comments… add one }
  • brad August 21, 2018, 12:55 am

    Fortunately none of the comments or arguments mean any thing. The trial should take less than 15 min.

    Sir, were You scared?
    possible answers: a:yes,
    DA: OK have a nice day.
    b: no,
    Judge: go to jail, do not pass go!

    These are the only options that the law requires. Pretty simple to me.

  • singleshotcajun August 20, 2018, 11:37 am

    If I chastised every clown I see doing something illegal I would have no time for anything thing else. We live in a world of selfish path of least resistance jerks, deal with it. Part of a good self defense plane is to mind your own business unless threatened.

  • LAGARTO August 19, 2018, 10:06 am

    I AM PRO 2A, CONCEALED CARRY, & STAND YOUR GROUND SELF DEFENSE.

    I agree with the attorneys. If I was on the jury and saw this tape I would convict.

    Drejka precipitated this event by verbally assaulting this woman and getting involved in something that was not his business.

    Those of us who value our 2A rights and concealed carry must be vigilant of those who are miscreants and bullies seeking to rationalize their anti social behavior and then hide behind stand your ground laws.

  • BL August 19, 2018, 12:53 am

    For those who say it was just a push, I want to say this. I have had surgery on my neck, I have two cadaver bones, 2 steel plates and 8 screws holding it in place. This assault that he suffered from the violent charge and stiff arm push would have killed or gravely injured me. No one touched him or his girlfriend to justify that push.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude January 4, 2019, 3:03 pm

      Very important point you raised BL, in the dynamics of so-called ‘stand your ground’ and legality of the use of deadly force. Circumstances and action v. inaction along with the related state of mind dictate the instant to instant changes from ‘justified to illegal’ force usage during the intense and rapid exchange in one of these incidents. And there are far too many variables to ever realize a clear equitable distinction for all pragmatic purposes.

      IOW it could start out with an action that justifies deadly force, but end up not required in justification by law, or conversely.

      And still, after all these years, almost nobody ‘gets it’ yet. Part of the blame lies in the lap of the juidicial/statutory ‘language’ that some of us in this ‘business’ only lately have come to understand in the first place. Laws are made to cover all exigence and contingencies and are written accordingly, and thus not as an instruction manual in step by step sequential order. This causes interpretational re-evaluations of the ‘letter’ of the law and greatly affects fine nuances related to elements like ‘intent’ or purposeful’ or premeditated, and then must be later accounted for in trial analysis according to aspects like ‘heat of the moment’ , temporary insanity, and emotional content. All of which makes most of these trial engagements a toss-up as far as endings go, Depending upon how good of a salesman your trial defense is?

      And next, the flexibility of action in the sense of the notion of continence or escalation or ‘furtherance’ of action. Consider the following questions for all you ‘expert attorneys’.

      While taking into account the ‘vague and flexible statutory definition of assault or simple battery, and even aggravated battery, what if after The woman’s now deceased male friend performed the physical act of simple battery upon Drezka that he didn’t go down right away but as he was forced backward managed a single counter punch that hit his assailant in the face knocking him to the ground where his head made hard contact with the concrete causing a severe subdural hematoma which caused death before he could reach the hospital. ( common documented occurrence in street altercations)

      Would Dreska then be even charged with anything? That’s doubtful. Doubtless A zealous prosecutor could somehow figure out a charge against the girlfriend who initiated the conflict by an illegal act of parking. And even if a ‘politically’ sensitive prosecutor was inclined to levy a mitigated charge (as is this manslaughter charge) it would also take a jury 10 minutes to return a not guilty verdict if it wasn’t already thrown out in the preliminary hearing by the judge?

      So what would be the difference between that scenario and this gun scenario? Except, as someone here already mentioned, the inherent prejudice against CCW holders? Up to the point that Drezka shot the attacker he was certainly justified pulling his defense firearm in the event of a continuous flow of attack and escalation of ‘great bodily harm’ which a good example of was already delivered considering the amount of person’s who die from pushing or throwing knock-downs to the street?

      My question to the defendant on the stand (as his defense attorney) would be “what were you thinking of what was going through your mind when you pulled your gun on Mcglockton after he attacked you?

      And if he said, “I can’t really remember clearly, I was more terrified than anything else and in a state of pain, shock, and fear, But I had no doubt he was going to turn around and come back to continue to try and kill me.”

      And then i’d turn to the jury and say ” What would any of you do in exactly the same situation?”

      Remember that there’s a huge distinction between verbal argument and physical action. Once you escalate the confrontation to physical contact. You have committed a violent crime. That opens up a large can of worms.

      That’s why you can’t be pulling out your firearm anytime you feel the urge to establish your ‘authority’ from advantage position in an otherwise non-physical confrontation, No matter how dirty or caustic the language gets. Only police get to do that, because they’re PAID to do it.

      It should be pointed out that the police state LEOs are for the most part exempt from various restrictions of deadly force in the form of imminent threats, etc. Their threshold for judgement is not the same as the average citizen, and as the case momentarily escapes me, there is case law on exactly this fact, as someone astutely mentioned below. The same state of mind that a police officer would articulate as “I believed my life was still in danger or that this person was going to run away and seriously harm somebody else so I shot him even though he was just struggling to escape’. Such is the nature of the sadly corrupted criminal justice system today.

      This Florida incident is a tragedy, but all three of the persons involved here were culpable by contributing to the escalation, when they didn’t have to, as a measured percentage in the deleterious dynamics of the incident. All of which could have been de-escalated at several points in the build-up if any one of the participants had made a good critical decision.

      For the rest of us. Remember the wise old Martial Art aphorism: “The fight you always win…is the one you don’t get in”

      • Ogeechee Mac November 29, 2019, 11:12 am

        You can’t talk to the jury with a witness on the stand.

  • Sly August 18, 2018, 9:44 pm

    If you walk out the store and see this man attacking your woman Physically or mentally, what would you do??, A push is not a threat on your life. I would protect my woman’s honor. This man picked a fight and used lethal force. Who is he to tell me anyone else where to park. He was not Handicap, he was out of his place. That’s why the Law was past to allow whites to pick fights with blacks and if a black protect himself and fight back, he can be shot and killed and the white will have no consequences. The Stand your ground Law can NOT be use by Black communities. Watch the tape and forget about skin color, do not let that make your decision for you. Make both two whites or two blacks. It can be clearly seen this man picked a fight, some men believe in taking care of their woman. Put your daughter in her place, what would you do to get this man away from your daughter. I have studied this tape from the day it happen, Legal genocide

    • DIYinSTL August 20, 2018, 8:51 am

      Sly,
      I have read from multiple sources that “stand your ground” is used by members of the black community at twice the rate of whites. This case, and many others, have nothing to do with race or “stand your ground.” Instead, we have plenty of blame to go around. McGlockton should not have parked where he did. Drejka should have better controlled his temper. McGlockton was the initial aggressor, at least physically. Drejka was within his rights to draw, but very doubtful about shooting. Some States will prosecute you for brandishing if you draw but don’t fire; I don’t think that Florida is one of those States.

  • cl August 18, 2018, 7:14 pm

    After the assault, the thug pulled up his pants and was preparing to do some stompin’ and kickin’. If the shooter had waited one second more then we would not be having this discussion. The aggressive black thug was gonna stomp some exclamation points into the head of the one on the ground.

  • Nick T August 18, 2018, 1:39 pm

    Let\’s consider the fact that both these men, defense and prosecutor, took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Perhaps they should have read it, and understood it in the light of those who wrote it, debated each word, and ratified it in the terms of those for whom it was written. I can guarantee that neither one have read all the Federalist Papers, and probably know nothing of the Anti-Federalists (anti-Constitution). And I\’m 99% sure that neither have taken the time to read any of the ratifying debates. I\’ve argued with some in the office of AG, and prosecutor and I know that those people know little to nothing about the \”rule of law\”. In fact, even in schools such as Harvard, law students are not encouraged to study the Constitution.
    \”Drejka is not law enforcement and has no right to be enforcing the law.\” The U.S. Constitution sites just one authority \”to execute the Laws of the Union\”. It does not mention constables, or sheriffs, both of whom would have been common at the time. Let us not forget, that police have absolutely no historical, lawful, or original authority to enforce the law. They were formed to protect corporations, politicians, and municipalities. Their power was created by governmental decree, not the rule of law.
    I don\’t have all the facts of this case so I care not to judge. What I do know is that the notion that government can, in any circumstance make any determination as to the legitimacy of any act is a testimony to pure stupidity. The concept of the Grand Jury was established in order that the good People of the town, village, or city could examine all the facts and then render a decision as to whether or not there was a legitimate crime that would elicit a charge, and then a trial by jury.
    All these methods of fairness and the rule of law have been taken from us.

  • Rocky August 18, 2018, 1:29 pm

    Pretty iffy…

    Until Drejka pulls his weapon, McGlockton is attacking; regardless, he is retreating when he’s shot. All of which happened in under a second.

    This is not to mention Drejka instigated the confrontation.

    What lessons can we learn here…

    — Just because you are black, doesn’t mean you are privileged and get to use the handicapped parking space. Someone is subject to call you on your stupidity. If they do, apologize and move, rather than being confrontational.

    — Just because you are black, doesn’t mean you are going to win if you walk up and attack some skinny white dude in the parking lot. Responding in a more civil, less violent manner, would have been advisable, ’cause when you bring nothing but attitude to a gun fight, you lose!

    — White folks is getting reeeeeal tired of the uncivil actions of black folks! And, they’re fighting back! Next time a brother see some white dude and think you gonna kick his ass for fun, ask yourself, “Is da mofo gonna bus a cap on my ass?” because he very possibly may.

    Do I believe the case is lost and Drejka is convicted? No, I don’t. The defense attorney needs only to convince one juror that Drejka feared for his life, and acted in self-defense. All he needs do is remind them of the black on white violence reported on the news every day, reported in the paper every day, found everywhere on the internet, show them CDC, FBI, and DOJ statistics. Point out that he’s being attacked by McGlockton, while the girlfriend is exiting the car on his right, and a second individual is flanking him on his left. He most certainly has cause to fear for his well being as he draws his weapon and fires, he has potentially, three assailants advancing. Beyond that point, it becomes split second analysis of what should have transpired, and what actually happened. Clearly he took out the closest threat first, and prepared to meet additional threats. Was he distracted by the additional threats and failed to recognize McGlockton’s retreat in that split second.

    All it takes is reasonable doubt, in one juror’s mind, and Drejka walks.

  • Nick August 18, 2018, 12:15 pm

    Let’s consider the fact that both these men, defense and prosecutor, took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Perhaps they should have read it, and understood it in the light of those who wrote it, debated each word, and ratified it in the terms of those for whom it was written. I can guarantee that neither one have read all the Federalist Papers, and probably know nothing of the Anti-Federalists (anti-Constitution). And I’m 99% sure that neither have taken the time to read any of the ratifying debates. I’ve argued with some in the office of AG, and prosecutor and I know that those people know little to nothing about the “rule of law”. In fact, even in schools such as Harvard, law students are not encouraged to study the Constitution.
    “Drejka is not law enforcement and has no right to be enforcing the law.” The U.S. Constitution sites just one authority “to execute the Laws of the Union”. It does not mention constables, or sheriffs, both of whom would have been common at the time. Let us not forget, that police have absolutely no historical, lawful, or original authority to enforce the law. They were formed to protect corporations, politicians, and municipalities. Their power was created by governmental decree, not the rule of law.
    I don’t have all the facts of this case so I care not to judge. What I do know is that the notion that government can, in any circumstance make any determination as to the legitimacy of any act is a testimony to pure stupidity. The concept of the Grand Jury was established in order that the good People of the town, village, or city could examine all the facts and then render a decision as to whether or not there was a legitimate crime that would elicit a charge, and then a trial by jury.
    All these methods of fairness and the rule of law have been taken from us.

  • Max Powers August 18, 2018, 2:03 am

    This entire matter is a lesson in accountability for one’s actions. In this society, with it’s many individual personalities, formed by their individual exposures during their formative years, people’s perceptions and beliefs on issues is always going to be remarkably different. And that is a GOOD thing. Individuality helps frame perspectives, and it makes this Country great! If we all had the same upbringings and same values, and same views, we’d probably be a more socialistic or communistic society, instead of a Constitutional Republic. Thank the creator(s) we are not a Democracy, but, instead a Constitutional Republic.

    And we, the individual readers or commenters on this story process it through our own individual lenses, and armchair quarterback the crap out of the second set of actions that occurred, in our own attempts to allay blame and assess proper consequence.

    I said the secondary set of actions because we are all guilty of not examining the first set of actions, and their potential consequences. The lady who improperly parked her vehicle at the convenience store receives the very first “blame”. In a civilized society, we demarcate specific spots to park our vehicles in, and even give preference to the vehicle piloted by a handicapped individual, allowing them more convenience to the Convenience Store. None of us would have read, and or/responded to this story if the lady would have subscribed to a better moral code, and parked her vehicle properly, as there would be no story to tell. She now has emotional consequences for her self-centered action, and the debate should be if there is any criminality or liability that should be applied to her to ensure she incurs additional consequence in addition to her emotional grief.

    The man who chose to approach the lady and discuss her choice of parking spots created the very next action which carries one of two distinct consequences. The first consequence is the lady realizes the error of her ways, apologizes for her choice of parking spots, and immediately re-parks her car more considerately. The second consequence is that she doesn’t. And it is there, when the second consequence occurs, that we now find action and consequence repeating and compounding. So, we need to ask the man who made his approach to discuss the parking issue what his intentions were. And if his intentions were to be met with resistance or a negative action from the lady driving the vehicle, what his next set of intentions were. And we should ask for justification of his original intention. As he is not working in an official capacity of a municipality to enforce any parking ordinances (and on the store’s private property, maybe no-one is capable of any real enforcement anyway). In my State, Handicapped Parking violations can result in citation by either civil parking enforcement, or law enforcement, on public or private property, if properly demarcated. The man did not appear to be acting in an official capacity to conduct an enforcement action. Should he have instead chosen to make a telephone call to the appropriate enforcement agency and remain present as a witness with information concerning the vehicle and its driver to turn over to an “enforcer”, there’d probably be no story to examine. If the man would have shaken his head in displeasure at the display of disregard for signage by the motorist and continued on about his business, again, there would probably be no story to tell.

    Next, we examine the man in the relationship with the driver of the vehicle. He exits the store and sees a loved one and a stranger in discussion of some type, and quickly moves to push the stranger to the ground. Did one of the children in the matter provide him with information to exit the store and move quickly towards the stranger? Was the discussion loud enough to cause him some type of alarm? To this viewer/reader, it appears his first action is based on more emotion than information. What if he would have taken a moment to listen to the exchange between the lady and the stranger? What would he have heard? How would he have approached if he had additional information? Of the three people involved in this matter, his consequence for his actions were clearly the most severe.

    Cooler heads always prevail. A brief moment of forethought prior to action is a reasonable idea.

    What if all three of the subjects were legally armed? What would that outcome have been? Three shot? Or none shot?

    When we exercise our Constitutional right to bear arms, it does come with responsibility. In a law abiding society, we cannot settle each and every dispute in duel. But, we can settle a good and proper challenge with a good and proper response.

    My personal history is from the opinions I’ve come to form over a 30+ year law enforcement career coupled with over a half-century of repetitive processing of O2 on this Earth. I’ve seen quite the true climate change of a society that was more polite to a society that is more self-absorbed and self-centered. I’ve seen a society that had more commonality in their thought move to a society without much commonality in their thought processes at all. And so on a professional basis, I’m constantly juggling the court of law’s views on my actions with the court of public opinions views. And it has caused me to place myself in a position where when I see a motorist parked improperly during almost every trip to my local convenience store when I’m not working, to make me shake my head and quickly grieve the ever growing need for some of us to choose don a uniform and pick up a ticket book or criminal complaint pad and teach untaught lessons to grown men and women who should’ve know better, but choose to disregard consequence.

    Please try to keep Newton’s 3rd law towards the forefront of your thought process when finding yourself in conflict while armed. And train. There is no such thing as enough training. Read. Learn. Use your ability to think cognitively. Think ahead, tactically and societally, if time allows. Yes, we’d all rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6, but, is the situation unfolding in front of you worth either? There’s no shame in retreat. If you need something for your psyche, call it “tactical retreat”.

    One more amchair quarterback observation on this matter . . . the shooter used a very effective hold from the seated position, and this is a one-shot-stop. I’m curious to know his caliber choice . . .

  • Nick August 18, 2018, 12:03 am

    This was a guy looking for trouble. If reports are true, he’s been harassing people for quite a while and even brandished his gun. “Heat of passion” is no excuse for a guy with obvious anger issues. I just shake my head that this guy should be charged with murder and, like Zimmerman (sorry, but that mf had similar anger issues and chased after someone like he was a cop, just to confront a guy walking while black). Don’t know the limit of incarceration for manslaughter is in FL but it won’t be enough. Toss the key please!

    • Ogeechee Mac November 29, 2019, 11:20 am

      Travon was a trespasser. Sorry, but he can’t attack a non-trespasser. The event had nothing to do with race.

  • jrw August 17, 2018, 10:28 pm

    There is no audio so we don’t know what was said by whom and the tone, inflection, emotion behind what was said by the various people.

    The single video we all are relying on to form our opinion of the righteousness of the shooting only shows one single angle of the incident. You don’t see half of McGlockton”s body, his non verbal body indicators, facial expression or other indicia that the shooter viewed.

    Do some research of material published by Force Science Institute regarding police use of force including OODA loop, response and reaction times, and the time lag between a person’s perception of an action and their ability to respond physically.

    With all that being said, it LOOKS like the shoot was not righteous, but we do not have all of the evidence, so we shall see.

  • Richard August 17, 2018, 8:26 pm

    Very good advice from reasonable men. Commend this site for having Lawyers give professional insight and advice. I also read that the defendant had a history of conflicts in which he had made shooting threats.

    That all being said, people need to stay out of disabled parking if they’re not disabled. Disregard of the Law, just because it’s inconvenient, can have unintended and life altering consequences. I’m disabled, use ambulatory aids, and I have had well-bodied individuals become angry at my polite requests for them to vacate a clearly posted area(s). The worst, telling me I could go around, thru two vehicles, over a curb, and across an uneven, grassy yard to get back to the sidewalk. I guess I should have called the police, but I hate to see things esculate…plus have trouble with neighbors from then on. Forgive my lengthy post…just an old guy venting to fellow patriots.

  • Dan C August 17, 2018, 6:59 pm

    After pushing the grown man down and before the grown man started pulling his firearm, the pusher was moving away from the grown man on the ground . Not even close to being justifiable, the grown man on the ground was retaliating, which is not what CCW is about. Part of having a CCW license is being capable of making the distinction of what is and isnt a threat, and there is no gray area here. Ive been hurt worse in grade school scuffles than the grown man was here. The lengths some of my fellow CCW holders will go to try to defend one who actedly wrongfully is just funny.

    • FirstStateMark August 17, 2018, 9:42 pm

      I agree. You learn that in CCW training. I remember my instructor saying “if the assailant is walking away or running away after seeing your weapon and you shoot” your in deep shit. This guy was on video walking away after seeing the weapon and the victim shot him. I think he’s in deep shit.

  • Kb31416 August 17, 2018, 6:34 pm

    Yes, I guess that the victim might be wrong and may not have been justified in shooting his attacker when he was walking away, but put me on the jury: NOT GUILTY.
    All it takes is 1 in 12.

  • Bryan K Young August 17, 2018, 5:06 pm

    I disagree with the inference of Defense Attorney, vis-a vis “Remember that most of the time law enforcement aren’t lawyers, they didn’t go to law school or pass the bar.” That statement is factual, however, my understanding was that the deputies who had investigated this incident did want to arrest him but the Sheriff overruled it. So it wasn’t the investigating deputy(s) who had it wrong it was the Sheriff. This incident clearing was outside the perimeters of “Stand Your Ground”. The man pushed Drejka & didn’t followup and in fact was breaking contact. I would have never have needed a A.D.A. for that.

  • Dan C August 17, 2018, 4:42 pm

    After pushing the grown man down and before the grown man started pulling his firearm, the pusher was moving away from the grown man on the ground . Not even close to being justifiable, the grown man on the ground was retaliating, which is not what CCW is about. Part of having a CCW license is being capable of making the distinction of what is and isnt a threat, and there is no gray area here. Ive been hurt worse in grade school scuffles than the grown man was here. The lengths my fellow CCW holders will go to try to defend one who actedly wrongly is just funny.

  • Bn August 17, 2018, 12:45 pm

    Anyone know the aggressors prior criminal record?

  • renny August 17, 2018, 12:41 pm

    If he had been a policeman and claimed the aggressor failed to comply with a lawful order ( raise your hands), and he thought the aggressor was turning away so he could go for a concealed weapon, he would be home free.

    • Mr.Liberty August 18, 2018, 1:58 am

      Exactly! The whole Michael Brown situation comes to mind, citizens need to have the same protections in self defense situations as law enforcement gets!

  • Mike August 17, 2018, 11:16 am

    No one starts a fistfight thinking they’re going to lose. McGlockton is half the age and twice the size of Drejka. McGlockton is clearly the aggressor, and the instigator. Drejka made no aggressive gestures, pointed fingers, etc toward the GF.

    Did he have to shoot him? Maybe not, but is it reasonable to assume he should wait to take a beating from McGlockton and possibly the second person that appeared to be very willing to join the fight, before he decided that lethal force was necessary to save his life?

    Not guilty.

    Lesson learned – don’t act in an aggressive manner unless you’re prepared for the knockout punch you’re about to receive.

    • Jim August 17, 2018, 7:52 pm

      I have to agree, from the comfort of hindsight it’s easy to see that this may not reach the clear standards of self defense . However, I see a man charge straight at another man and commit an unwarranted physical assault. Clearly regardless of what words may have been exchanged the physical instigation was caused by McGlockton and I would have to put that fact foremost in my decision if I were on the jury.

  • JohnK August 17, 2018, 10:31 am

    Where did you get these two clowns from?

    After the violence of that shove, who would NOT reasonably believe their life was in imminent danger?

    The kaw used to read “Mere words do not provoke a battery”. Seems like these days with candy-ass lawyers like these two, it must read words CAN provoke a battery,

  • Steve August 17, 2018, 10:20 am

    That is not stand your ground. Even tho the b/m shoved the w/m to the pavement he did not advance, in fact it appeared he was backing off when he was shot. To comply with stand your ground you must justify the imminent threat of death or great bodily harm. Not shown here.

    • Mr.Liberty August 18, 2018, 2:00 am

      Please stop saying this like its a fact, McGlockton clearly continued to advance and he did this thing that I’ve always seen thugs do in a fight when they’re pumped up (pulls up his baggy shorts because they are falling down so they can concentrate on the fight, no joke) until he saw the firearm being drawn and the time between him pushing Drejka to the ground and him getting shot is roughly 5 seconds, which isn’t very long at all. It’s like the whole Michael Brown situation again where you viciously attack someone and afterwards you can throw your hands up and cry police brutality and murder when the injured officer responds. It was completely justifiable in that situation because the he was a police officer and its not justified if citizens do it? Hypocrisy at its finest! It is reasonable to conclude that Drejka could have felt threatened enough in this moment (after getting viciously sneak attacked) to use deadly force to stop the threat. If he hadn’t responded with deadly force, it seems plausible that McGlockton would have continued to beat Drejka and his girlfriend would have probably joined in considering she also exited the vehicle. Does nobody question her intentions?

  • Daddio7 August 17, 2018, 10:04 am

    I’m pretty sure the prosecuting attorney would not seat me on the jury. I know they will ask each potential juror if they have been assaulted before. Unless you have been blindsided and then pummeled after you tried to get up you can not know the fear and desperation felt when you look up at a bigger and stronger opponent you didn’t even know was there a few seconds ago. In your confused state you could easily mistake any movement, toward you or away as another attack. Not guilty.

  • Sean August 17, 2018, 9:54 am

    Maybe if his gf learned to park legally he’d be alive…

  • Sean August 17, 2018, 9:53 am

    While I done necessarily agree that guy should’ve been shot, I do feel like our society is on a first class trip to the toilet. Laws have been twisted up so bad to protect criminals that you need to really CYA if you are under a threat. If a burglar breaks into my home in Ca. I have to determine if the p.o.s. is armed BEFORE I can stop him… WTF? The point is none of us were there at that time. Maybe Drejka was fearing getting his head stomped in? Maybe if the dead guys gf wasnt a lazy p.o.s parking where she didn’t belong she would still have a boyfriend? Kinda like that Milwaukee bucks player that got arrested for parking in a handicap spot and giving the cops a hard time when approached by officers. Somewhere along the lines our society has turned on us. If you wanna be free and not have to follow rules you have to be a majority (minority/colored) otherwise you better have a good attorney on retainer, you’ll need it eventually. MAGA!!!

  • Mike B. August 17, 2018, 9:04 am

    looking at the video at frame time :08, McGlockton pushes Drejka down extremely harshly. Pause for a moment and don’t bring in extraneous facts(he was heard of doing this or that), just consider what the video shows you. During that second :08, McGlockton continues to approach Drejka and McGlockton’s arms are in aggressor mode clearly indicating a positioning to not back away. It is only at frame :09 that Drejka starts his draw stroke and in that very second McGlockton perceives a weapon is being drawn, because his posture changes in an instant, even the bystander in the foreground begins a lateral stepping motion instead of proceeding to the fight as was clearly his original trajectory.
    By frame :10 it’s over. So, in the span of 2 seconds McGlockton pushes Drejka(which clearly Drejka has met with violence onto his person), How much so? Well we don’t know at the time of viewing(even if viewed in real-time) The pain perceived AT-The-TIME by Drejka could have been so intense, so excruciating for Drejka to believe say for example the fall broke his hip, etc… Drejka draws weapon, completes his draw stroke(within a second), and fires weapon at threat still in front of him. Adrenaline, tunnel vision, focusing on center mass, threat still in front of him, his body aching with extreme pain, his body full of fear from head to toe. For Drejka to perceive the subtle back peddling that McGlockton starts making while Drejka is in full locomotion mentally to complete what he started and defend his life,,, yeah. it’s F**king too late for that.

    End story and lesson to be learned by anybody including all us here. Use physical violence on somebody, be prepared for any consequences back onto yourself including getting yourself killed.

  • Dan Barnes August 17, 2018, 8:54 am

    None of the videos I’ve seen have audio. Without knowing what, if anything, McGlockton may have said after pushing Drejka to the ground, it’s impossible to say just how threatened Drejka.felt when he fired.

  • Jay August 17, 2018, 8:33 am

    This situation really proves a point. The laws are lacking and now a person has to be beaten or injured to a certain extent in order to be justified in pulling a firearm! Ridiculous! When you or I can be charged with a terrorististic threat just for saying certain things out loud but you can’t defend yourself by any means possible after someone attacks you physically, something is wrong!

  • Infidel762X51 August 17, 2018, 8:30 am

    There is only one reason this so called sheriff chose not to charge and that is he is against joe citizen having the ability to carry a gun and defend himself. He is using this case to make stand your ground look bad and it is working. Last nights news was calling for a special session of the legislature to repeal stand your ground, something leftists like this so called sheriff have been trying to do since the day it was passed.

  • BOUNTY HUNTER August 17, 2018, 8:22 am

    Guys, don’t give concealed carriers a bad name. This shooting was NOT justified. Drejka was justified in drawing his firearm, yes, but after he drew his weapon, McGlockton began to retreat. Yes McGlockton was wrong for escalating the confrontation to a physical encounter, and it does appear he would have continued until he saw the weapon, but at that point he turned away and there was no more threat. At that point Drejka could have had him arrested for assault and battery. As for the original offense of parking in the handicapped zone, that’s also a pet peeve of mine. Disrespectful, ignorant, lazy ass people do this all the time. There should be a $500 fine and enforce the law. Cops could sit in an unmarked car in any grocery store parking lot and collect thousands of dollars a day in fines.

    • Mr.Liberty August 18, 2018, 1:54 am

      Please stop saying this like its a fact, McGlockton clearly continued to advance and he did this thing that I’ve always seen thugs do in a fight when they’re pumped up (pulls up his baggy shorts) until he saw the firearm being drawn and the time between him pushing Drejka to the ground and him getting shot is roughly 5 seconds, which isn’t very long at all. It is reasonable to conclude that Drejka could have felt threatened enough in this moment (after getting viciously sneak attacked) to use deadly force to stop the threat. If he hadn’t responded with deadly force, it seems plausible that McGlockton would have continued to beat Drejka and his girlfriend would have probably joined in considering she also exited the vehicle. Does nobody question her intentions?

  • DonM August 17, 2018, 7:57 am

    What if McGlocton told the guy that he had just shoved in blindside fashion to the ground? “ I’m going to kill you, you dumb ass cracker”. Or, “ I’m going to take that gun and shove it up your ass”. Or, “ I’m going to Fuck you up for messing with my girlfriend”. Or a number of other possible verbal threats.

    I’m not trying to defend the shooter, I’m just going through likely scenarios that may have caused the shooter to fear for his life.

    I did read reports where the shooter got into numerous confrontations with other people at this store, even threatening to shoot them.

    It’s a bad situation, the shooter should not have been blindsided like that and it is a cheap shot to knock someone down in that manner.

    I think this case could go either way. I also think that public outrage is driving the case forward as well.

    • Dr Motown August 17, 2018, 8:30 am

      McGlockton did not pursue any other physical activity after the shove….in fact, he looks like he’s backing away after Drejka pulled the gun. There were several seconds there, after the shove, where Drejka had the opportunity to warn McGlockton, back away, and defuse the situation (which Drejka provoked by accosting the girlfriend over a parking space). Instead, he takes a solid aim and pulls the trigger on a man who’s several feet away and making no further moves. I think he’s going to be convicted of manslaughter

      • CountryLogic August 17, 2018, 11:10 am

        So, it’s OK by you if someone gets physical with you because you call them out for doing something wrong?

        • Alex W. August 17, 2018, 3:46 pm

          CountryLogic, if I’m carrying a weapon, I don’t start confrontations over petty offenses or slights. I record audio/video, call the police, or let that s*** go. Life is too short. It’s not worth the risk of losing my gun rights.

  • trickyRicky August 17, 2018, 7:52 am

    An important point not mentioned in the article was that police determined during the following investigation that Drejka had previously brandished a gun at others at least 3 previous times over minor traffic issues (people driving too slow through a school zone, etc.). Drejka was a walking time bomb and NOT a poster child for 2nd A rights. I hope he is convicted and gets the maximum sentence for manslaughter to keep him away from guns for the longest time possible.

    Did he have the right to present? Possibly. Pull the trigger? not in my opinion.

  • Joe August 17, 2018, 7:00 am

    I dont want that Lawyer in my corner. Put a jury of 12 over 55 years old and he will get off.LOL

    • Dr Motown August 17, 2018, 8:32 am

      I’m over 55, a 2A supporter, and I’d vote to convict him. There was no need to shoot a guy who’s backing away

      • UncleNat August 17, 2018, 1:47 pm

        I concur Doc. Drejka was looking for trouble. Put yourself in McGlockton’s position. Comes out of the store and a guy is threatening his woman. A shove is the least Drejka should expect.

      • Alex W. August 17, 2018, 3:51 pm

        Agreed. We have to hold one another to a high standard.

  • Txjack August 17, 2018, 6:42 am

    Reprimanding someone for blatantly flouting the law doesn’t mean you are trying to be law enforcement, it simply means you are a decent person that finds taking advantage of the weaker or in this case disabled repugnant. If someone violently assaults you which is way unpropottional to just your words chiding them for being scoff laws, are you really required to wait till they nearly kill or severely damage you or can we all agree that the disproportionate violence to your mere words suggests that is imminent. If the laws are such that we must keep silent lest we offend scoff laws then the laws are wrong. If the law is such that we must allow an angry stranger to fling us on the ground and that’s ok because they didn’t hurt us ENOUGH then the law is wrong. Once someone puts their hands on you then all bets are off. Argue if you will but keep your hands to yourself or accept any and all consequences like deadly force.

  • David Douglass August 17, 2018, 6:32 am

    As Andrew Branca asserts repeatedly, “you have to consider ‘the greater than zero risk’ aspect when confronted with a decision to legally use a firearm. And in this case, the victim, while being on the ground, was not injured ENOUGH to not draw his sidearm and accomplish putting the muzzle on the attacker’s center mass. He had his attacker in his line of sight, he had won the confrontation at that time. A verbal warning to retreat and not attack again should have been issued to the attacker—a harsh clear warning.

    This is the time to consider ‘greater than zero risk of having to enter a legal system which is brutally unpredictable’. Greater than zero risk of going to jail for the rest of your life, or spending a substantial amount of money you could use for your life and family. And last but not least, greater than zero risk of actually committing MURDER instead of… a lawful self-defense act, in which you were innocent of starting, imminent and unavoidable in its nature, and proportional and reasonable in your counter reaction, i.e. saving yourself from death or grave bodily harm with a lethal tool.

  • JGinNJ August 17, 2018, 5:21 am

    A rational review of what I thought the situation was. I am glad the prosecutor decided on a reasonable charge. One of the problems with recent shooting cases is that the government attorneys responded to political pressures and went for more severe murder charges that they could not prove. For example, there was news in this case that the shooter often harassed others at the location, almost pushing for an event that would allow him to murder. Proving premeditation would have failed. Would it come up in a civil suit for damages?

    Certainly the antigunners used this incident to argue and promote their agenda against Stand Your Ground. The charges filed got nowhere near the publicity of the original crime. We have to work to shine light on what really is happening in the case.

    • Kb31416 August 17, 2018, 6:47 pm

      If they can introduce the victim/shooter’s previous self defense incidents, then they should also be able to introduce Mcglockton’s previous criminal record.

  • Mr.Liberty August 16, 2018, 7:51 pm

    I respectfully disagree with the assertions made in this article based on my personal ethical/moral standards and the law needs to change to reflect what is truly right morally and ethically. There are more times that use of deadly force or lawful display of force/firearm than currently recognized by the law. I’m not advocating for murder by any means but Drejka’s actions were completely justified in that McGlockton escalated the fight from a heated VERBAL confrontation to a PHYSICAL confrontation. The potential for Drejka to have been seriously injured in that fall and afterwards was very high (thank god he wasn’t) and in the video, McGlockton is shown to be preparing for a fight after pushing him to the ground with his girlfriend getting out of the car to join him (contrary to what you and your guests think, trust me I’ve been in enough fights/situations like this in my younger days to know). The only thing that makes them back off is Drejka justifiably pulling his firearm and shooting him once (he did not continue to shoot after he saw the threat was over). I would agree with you in that the confrontation could have been avoided if Drejka called the cops but if the cops didn’t show up when thugs on public transportation threatened to physically harm me a couple of months back, do you really think they’re going to show up for someone parked in a handicap spot? The only thing that scared the thugs was a warning they would get shot if they put their hands on me. If anyone should have called the cops, its McGlockton when he saw the initial argument and he would have been totally justified and innocent, instead he choose to physically escalate the situation and died. My final question to you and anyone who reads this is how much does someone need to get beat on to justify fighting back with deadly force? Do I have to wait until they’ve got me in a compromised position where I can’t even pull my firearm out safely? Do I have to wait until after they’ve incapacitated me and taken my firearm from me…oh wait you can’t even use deadly force anymore, no more gun! The victim blaming in this article and from the supposedly pro gun community I hear on these subjects is ridiculous.

    • Dr Motown August 17, 2018, 8:35 am

      So you’re going to play traffic cop and get into altercations with everyone who’s parked illegally somewhere? Then shoot them when they respond to your stupidity? Good luck with your court cases, bro…

      • Daddio7 August 17, 2018, 10:19 am

        So you think anyone who is confronted by another person can escalate to the next level. George Zimmerman made contact with Trayvon Martin so Martin could legal pummel Zimmerman senseless. Drejka confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend so he could as her proxy knock Dreija to the ground. Dreija treated the shove as a first contact and escalated to shooting McGlockton. Glad you cleared this up.

      • Mr.Liberty August 18, 2018, 1:31 am

        Not saying I would do that personally (I probably wouldn’t) and he might have been wrong in confronting them initially but as I mentioned McGlockton was the one who escalated the situation to a physical altercation. If he had came out and cursed at the guy or just been like “hey man we’re leaving, f— off” and then Drejka shot him, I would completely agree that he was in the wrong. But you can’t escalate to physical violence from a verbal confrontation and expect not to face any consequences. Also people saying he was backing away like it is a fact is completely WRONG, it is very debatable and to me, it looks like he was preparing himself for a fight by picking up his baggy shorts as I have seen many thugs like him do in my real life experiences.

    • RJ August 17, 2018, 10:51 am

      So…. You come outside to see someone verbally harassing your wife/girlfriend/sister/daughter/mother over parking. Even if it was parked illegally in a handicapped space. You don\’t know this person or what they may or may not do. The first thing you would do, whether you want to deny it or not, is get this person away from your loved one. In this case, this was done by shoving the person away. Was he trying to push the person down intentionally or was it in his mind to just get this person away from his GF? From the video, once his pushed Drejka it does not look as if he was making any moves toward him at all. Drejka was on the ground barely seconds before reaching for his gun. You can see McGlockton backing away which means he IS NOT A THREAT!! Drejka still shoots him anyway.When I took CC class one of the things they told us over and over from the \”teachers\” to the different video scenarios you may find yourself in is if you instigate the argument, you cannot claim self-defense later. You can only claim self-defense if you attempt to defuse the situation and are attacked again as you try to move away. Drejka started the whole confrontation by walking up to someone he didn\’t know to harass them over parking in a handicap space. Now did the GF feel as if her life was in danger? How would you feel if some unknown person comes up to you acting the same way Drejka was acting? You don\’t know this man or what he may or may not do. Since you are on this site, I guarantee you would have at the least drawn your gun because of his behavior. Whether you would have displayed it or not, you would have done so. Deny it on here all you want. Add to that the fact Drejka has threatened other people three different times according to police records. Like the other poster said, he was a time bomb waiting to go off and he finally found his excuse.Yeah, it irritates the hell out of me when I see people parking in those spaces like that. But you call the police if you want to report it. You harassing someone over it will not make them change their minds about parking in those spaces like having to actually lose money over it. Honestly not too surprised about several of the comments on here blaming the GF for parking there or for him pushing Drejka down. I was actually expecting to see those comments.

      • CountryLogic August 17, 2018, 11:19 am

        Bull, he never got close enough to the girlfriends car to cause a physical altercation.

      • Mr.Liberty August 18, 2018, 2:28 am

        My wife/girlfriend/sister/daughter/mother would never park in a handicap spot unless they had proper documentation to do so. Also no I would not just immediately attack the person like McGlockton did but rather walk over and ask what the issue is and try to fix it by talking through it first and if not, I can always call the cops (which is what the GF or McGlockton should have done if they felt threatened) and if necessary, can respond immediately with deadly force. The push seemed pretty intentional to me, you don’t just push someone to the ground like that by mistake. McGlockton also doesn’t back down immediately and even appears to pull up his baggy shorts in an attempt to get ready for a fight before he gets shot. Did you also question why his GF chose to exit the vehicle after Drejka was pushed to the ground? It seems like she was going to join in on the beating until he decided to defend himself. I have always been taught that attacking someone like McGlockton did to Drejka is a good way to get yourself shot! What happened to an armed society is a polite society? If it was a law enforcement officer who was attacked in a similar manner like Michael Brown attacked Darrell Wilson, you’d stick up for them in a second and so would I! I agree Drejka started the confrontation but what would possibly make the girlfriend fear for her life? Someone confronting her about her illegal actions? Bit of a stretch, don’t you think? Words can never be used to justify violence (unless you’re part of the Left), but someone viciously assaulting you makes it perfectly justified to respond back with deadly force. You don’t get to attack someone who you perceived as weaker and then throw your hands up when you see them put up a fight and act like a victim! The time between Drejka being pushed to the ground and him shooting McGlockton is rougly 5 seconds, which isn’t very long. It is very plausible and reasonable that Drejka felt surprised and threatened enough that he feared for his life and in that moment responded with deadly force. We need to drop the double standards and give the same protections to citizens as we do to law enforcement in their self defense situations.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend