Locals react to 'stand your ground' controversy following death of young father

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law is sparking controversy following the death of a young father in Clearwater.

The man who shot the 28-year-old is not facing any jail time because of this law.

The 'Stand Your Ground' law, which was enacted in 2005, allows residents to use force, including deadly force, if they "reasonably believe" they are at risk of death or great bodily harm.

"If somebody is threatening you and somebody that could harm you, kill you, or hurt you physically then you should have the right to defend yourself," Owner of C&G Sporting Goods, Ronny Groom, said.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Michael Drejka and Markeis McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, were arguing because she parked in a handicap space outside of a Clearwater convenience store.

McGlockton then ran out to defend his girlfriend, and pushed Drejka to the ground.

Drejka pulled out his gun, and McGlockton stepped back.

Drejka then shot him in the chest.

But Pinellas County Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri, said Drejka was in the right under the law.

"The only thing that we can look at here is was he in fear of further bodily harm," he said.

Local gun supporters said the law serves a good purpose.

"Gives you a chance to defend yourself against someone that's trying to take your life or do you severe bodily harm," Groom said.

But they said pushing someone shouldn't be grounds to kill them.

"You never want to shoot somebody unless you have to, but in case of a dire emergency, you need to have the right to defend yourself," he said.

The case has gone to the state attorney.

Residents in the area are hoping Drejka will face charges, and have been protesting the law outside of the store where McGlockton was killed.

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center