That Thursday was like any other for the Jacobs-McGlockton family, until they stopped at the Circle A Food Store in Clearwater for a snack. Markeis and 5 year old Markeis Jr. went into the store while Britany stayed in the car with the other two children, 3 year old NAME and 4 month old NAME. Less than two minutes later, an SUVpulled up perpendicular to Britany’s car.
At first she took no notice of Michael Drejka, the middle-aged man who climbed out of the SUV. But then she saw that, unlike the other people who had driven up to the store, this man was inspecting her car, from the back to the front, like a lion stalking its prey. Drejka stoppednear the hood of her car, yelling at her about being in a handicapped space and gesturing to the open spaces near the front of the store.
Who was this man? He didn’t flash a badge, so he wasn’t a cop. Why did he care where she was parked? Maybe he was one of these busybodies who didn’t like black people in “their” spaces. No matter--Markeis and Junior would be back soon, and they would exit the parking space and leave behind this angry man who had appointed himself its keeper. Then Drejka slowly moved closer to her window, yelling all the way, until he was standing right outside it.
Neither Britany nor Drejka saw another customer, a young man, drive up near the store’s front door. The yelling caught his attention, and he stood in the store’s open door watching the confrontation. The young man went into the store and told the clerk about the argument just outside.
Markeis overheard the young man’s report, and went outside to make sure his family was safe. He walked slowly at first, but picked up speed as the car door opened and Britany stepped out, to within arm’s reach of this iratemale stranger. Markeis stepped into the shove he delivered as he reached the man, trying to put space between this interloper and his beloved Britany.
Drejka toppled to the parking lot’s pavement like a solidly glanced ten-pin. Markeis, hitching up his shorts,positioned himself between Britany (with their younger children still in the car behind her) and Drejka. At the same time, Drejka came to a sitting position and pointed a pistol at Markeis. The young father backed away one, two, three steps as Britany ran around the back of the car. Drejka shot Markeis on his fourth step back. Markeisclutched his chest and staggered quickly away from his attacker, mortally wounded.
Junior, waiting in the store, watched his father re-enter the store and fall to the floor. He stood by helplessly as his mother tried, in vain, to stop the bleeding from her mate’s chest. The last image Junior has of his dad is of Markeis being placed on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.
Markeis died less than an hour after Britany parked her car at the Circle A. Even if a police officer—someone with the actual authority to make her move the car--had happened upon her, the fine for parking in a handicapped space is $250.00. Drejka is free and at large to kill again; the sheriff determined that he was immune from arrest due to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
It didn’t matter that Drejka had had priorconfrontations with Circle A customers over the same parking spot. It didn’t matter that other people had complained that Drejka brandished his gun during a road rage incident. It didn’t matter that Drejka instigated the entire confrontation. It didn’t matter that Markeis had no further contact with Drejka after shoving him away. It didn’t matter that fully four seconds passed between the time Drejka aimed to when he pulled the trigger. It didn’t matter that Markeis was backing away when Drejka shot him.
The McGlockton family lost a son and a brother because a troublemaker armed himself to do his meddling. Even more heartbreaking, the Jacobs-McGlockton family lost a father and a life partner. Their lives have beeninextricably shattered because Drejka had a license to kill.
It is our duty as a community to stand our ground and seek justice for Markeis’ family. We must insist that his killer be held accountable with the full force of the law. We must to everything possible to ensure that Markeis’ life is more valued than a $250.00 parking space.
I, Donna L Davis an our team of community organizers in Tampa has been in direct communication with Britany and donated funds will be deposited directly into her bank account. The funds will be used to supplement a family economy that has been deeply strained by the absence of Markeis' income.
Please give as you are able.
If you would prefer to give in other ways, please consider these impactful actions:
Sign a petition:
Call State Atty. Bernie McCabe and ask him to bring charges against Markeis’ killer, Michael Drejka.
DonationsSee top donations
- Christian Bradley
- Ève Lemieux
- Sally Cotlar
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more