CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It’s a case that’s getting national attention.
A Clearwater man who shot and killed a man outside a food store Thursday claims he felt threatened, was standing his ground, and so far, has not been charged.
The man accused of pulling the trigger has had past confrontations at that same convenience store.
“I see them all the time. Both of them,” said Ali Salous, who owns the Circle-A food store. “They’re customers. I see them daily.”
Salous says both men involved, including the man who was killed, 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton, are regular customers.
But Salous describes the man who fired the fatal shot, 47-year-old Michael Drejka, as a "hot head" who is often inexplicably concerned about where people park outside the store.
“I told him why don’t you mind your own business, you know what I mean?” said Salous.
About two months ago, Salous remembers Drejka getting into an argument with another customer over parking.
Richard Kelly claims he was that customer.
“He flips out,” said Kelly. “Calls me every N-word in the book. Says that he will shoot me.”
Kelly said Drejka threatened to kill him when he parked his work truck in a disabled parking space outside the store.
Kelly hopes a prosecutor talks to him.
“Because it happened to me, and I experienced this guy,” he said.
Since Thursday’s shooting, there has been a growing memorial outside the convenience store. Flowers and candles, but mostly signs urging prosecutors to charge Drejka.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says so far, there wasn't enough evidence based on Florida’s stand your ground law to make an arrest. The sheriff's office forwarded the case to the state attorney’s office.
No one came to the door at Drejka’s Clearwater home Monday, but Clearwater police have kept an eye on the property.
Matt Freeman, a neighbor, says when he asked them why they were parked there, they told him, “Just in case there was any retaliation they wanted to have a presence here.”
It’s still possible prosecutors will see things differently, or perhaps a grand jury will decide whether to indict Drejka.
Kelly says he hopes that happens.
“The guy is messed up," he said. "He needs to be prosecuted.”
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