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Man killed in Florida 'stand your ground' shooting was turning away, autopsy indicates

An autopsy for Markeis McGlockton found the bullet entered his left chest, ripped through parts of his lungs and heart, and then lodged on his right side.
Image: Markeis McGlockton
In this Thursday, July 19, 2018 image taken from surveillance video released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Markeis McGlockton, far left, is shot by Michael Drejka during an altercation.Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP

The autopsy of the Florida father who was gunned down during a parking space dispute two months ago indicates the bullet traveled at a slightly upward angle, consistent with video that appears to show him backing up and turning away from the shooter.

Documents provided by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office said Markeis McGlockton, 28, died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

The gunman, Michael Drejka, 48, used a .40-caliber Glock handgun when he shot McGlockton on July 19 outside of a Clearwater convenience store, police said.

Drejka had gotten into an argument with McGlockton's girlfriend over why their car was parked in a handicapped space. McGlockton was inside the store at the time.

Surveillance footage shows McGlockton walking outside and then shoving Drejka to the ground. Drejka pulled out a gun and McGlockton appeared to turn his body away as he was struck.

Drejka was arrested on a manslaughter charge less than a month after the shooting, and was released Monday from jail on bond.

The autopsy found the bullet entered McGlockton's left chest below the nipple, ripped through parts of his lungs and heart, and then lodged on the right side at his armpit, at a slightly higher point. That angle would indicate McGlockton was not moving straight toward Drejka.

In addition, the autopsy also found McGlockton had traces of amphetamines MDA as well as MDMA, the chemical compound found in the street drug ecstasy, when he died. It's unclear how long ago he may have taken them.

Dr. Stephen Nelson, a state medical examiner, told the Tampa Bay Times that the amount found in McGlockton is not unusually high or low, and ingesting the drugs could cause hyperactivity and insomnia.

Hundreds of pages of new documents in the case released this week also revealed that Drejka told investigators after his arrest that he was taking the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, anti-depressants and sleeping pills, and was consuming two Monster energy drinks daily.

In a jailhouse interview with a local TV station earlier this month, Drejka said he felt the confrontation was started by McGlockton and he simply "answered" him because he feared for his life.

"I didn't know it was a shove," Drejka said, "I thought I was tackled."

The case has drawn national interest as another apparent example of the "stand your ground" argument, which allows Floridians to defend themselves with deadly force if they are in fear of imminent danger or death.