ST. PETERSBURG, Florida. – Florida authorities on Monday released hundreds of new pages in the case of a white man accused of the fatal shooting of a black man in a parking lot dispute in July.
According to a transcript of Michael Drejka interview with Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives, he said that if Markeis McGlockton had retreated, or even remained still, he would not have used his gun. But McGlockton’s girlfriend, who was a witness to the incident, said McGlockton moved back.
The 70-page interview of Drejka sheds light on his thinking in the seconds before the shot.
Prosecutors on Aug. 13 charged Drejka with murder. He is released from prison on $ 100,000 bail.
Surveillance video from July 19 shows Drejka the start of a confrontation about a parking space. McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, sitting in the couple’s car with two of their children, in the age of 3 years and 4 months.
Jacobs, whose interview with officers was in the recently released documents, said after the parking, the 28-year-old McGlockton had gone in the store. That is when another vehicle pulled up and a man, later identified as Drejka got out and went to look for her car in the disabled spot, then started berating her, saying: “‘Well, you need to move your car,’ and this and this, you know, Because, you know, I have family that is handicapped,’ and this and this. So, I say, ‘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 shop and knocked Drejka on the sidewalk.
“Markeis came off and he pushed him,” Jacobs said. “He was like, you know — you know, um,” don’t touch my girl,’ or something, ” he said. And then all of a sudden, dude was on the ground, and he pulled a gun and shot him.”
Jacobs said: “Everything he did was backed up. Because, you know, nobody, you know, with a gun on him, he’s going to, you know, shut up and not say anything.”
Drejka, who is 48, told a detective, “It happened so quickly, and that was that … I was literally overwhelmed.”
During the interview, the retired tree trimmer said that he would carried a gun because he is 22, and that people illegally parking in handicapped spots in that store was a pet peeve, and that he would have approached people.
“Does it ever go through your mind … that they can’t make? This might be both a little bit?” the detective asked.
“Eh, well, sure. But that is the reason why I take precautions, as well,” Drejka said.
On the question of what sort of precautions, Drejka replied: “Well, I am a very careful person and I have a permit.”
In an interview with a local TV station since his arrest, Drejka said that the parking spaces for persons with disabilities “have always struck a nerve” because his high school girlfriend and his mother-in-law used the disabled parking spaces.
McGlockton’s family has been vocal in their displeasure about the way the case was handled, and the hired lawyer Benjamin Crump, who gained national notoriety that the family of Trayvon Martin, after black teenager’s fatal shooting by a Spanish man in 2012.