WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 — A gunman who cited the “stand your ground” self-defense law after shooting a black man dead over a parking space dispute in U.S. southeastern state Florida was charged on Monday with manslaughter, the authorities said.
Michael Drejka, 48, is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday over his fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton during an altercation in the parking lot of a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida on July 19.
The incident was caught by surveillance video at the time and Drejka, who had a legal concealed weapons permit, invoked the “stand your ground” defense afterwards.
“We have filed a formal charge, and he has been arrested, and he will now go through the court system,” Bernie McCabe, the state attorney for Pinellas County, said in a statement on Monday.
McCabe said charging Drejka is “consistent with the decision-making process established under Florida law in this case.”
“The announcement that Michael Drejka will be charged with manslaughter provides our family with a small measure of comfort in our time of profound mourning,” McGlockton’s family said in a statement.
“This man killed Markeis in cold blood, without a second thought about the devastating impact his actions would have on our family, but this charge gives us a measure of hope that the truth will win and justice will prevail in the end.” said the 28-year-old victim’s family. – XINHUA