CLEARWATER, Fla. — It was one year ago today that a shooting in Clearwater again focused national attention on Florida’s "stand your ground" law.
Michael Drejka’s deadly shooting of Markeis McGlockton was captured on video outside the parking lot of a local convenience store.
McGlockton’s friends and relatives planned to mark the anniversary with a vigil at Mount Zion Methodist Church.
Outside the Circle-A Market, a memorial to Markeis McGlockton has since been taken down. But the memory of what happened there has not faded.
“It seems like it happened, like yesterday,” said Ali Salous who operates the store.
Salous says people still come by and remember the shooting captured on his market’s surveillance camera.
“They’re just wondering what happened. How this happened. Asking questions, about it you know?” Salous said.
Over the last year, there have been protests, vigils and court hearings.
McGlockton’s family is always there, including girlfriend Britany Jacobs. She was in the car as the two men argued over Jacobs having pulled her vehicle into a disabled parking space.
Jacobs, interviewed after the shooting, described McGlockton as “My soul, my partner. We did everything together you know? It’s tough."
For his part, Drejka, spoke exclusively with 10News and said he feared for his life when McGlockton pushed him to the ground.
“Very scared,” Drejka said. “I’ve never been confronted like that, or never been assaulted like that, if you will, ever.”
At first, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the case fit Florida’s stand your ground statute.
“He had to shoot to defend himself,” Gualtieri said early on in the investigation. “Those are the facts and that’s the law.”
But prosecutors, pointing out McGlockton appeared to be turning away from Drejka, disagreed and charged Drejka with manslaughter.
Since then, Drejka’s lawyers have decided not to argue stand your ground, instead calling this a clear case of self-defense.
McGlockton’s family members, meanwhile, have done what they can to keep his memory and the case in the public eye.
Friday’s vigil marks another sad milestone fro them.
Drejka’s trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 19.