State: Shooter was ‘vigilante’

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A white Florida man who fatally shot an unarmed black man after being shoved to the ground is a “vigilante” who carried a handgun because he liked provoking confrontations with people parked illegally in handicapped-accessible spaces, a prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments at the man’s manslaughter trial Friday.

Prosecutor Scott Rosenwasser told jurors in Clearwater, Florida, that Michael Drejka provoked Markeis McGlockton, 28, to shove him by yelling at McGlockton’s girlfriend because she was parked in a handicapped space and then fired as McGlockton started to flee.

Rosenwasser said Drejka, 49, can’t claim self-defense because he had no reasonable belief that he was about to be seriously injured or killed during the July 18, 2018, altercation outside a Circle A convenience store.

Drejka said during a video-recorded interview with Pinellas County sheriff’s detectives five hours after the shooting that illegal parking in handicapped spots is his “pet peeve,” so he will frequently walk around such cars and take photos, using an expletive to say he is trying to mess with the drivers.

“He is a parking lot vigilante,” Rosenwasser said.

Drejka’s attorneys said in closing arguments that McGlockton caused his own death by shoving the defendant who was put in a vulnerable position on the ground and fired his gun to protect himself.

“Mr. McGlockton caused his own death by violently attacking a man with no provocation,” defense attorney John Trevena said.