A lawyer for the family of a Florida man shot dead in a fight over a parking space said Tuesday that if authorities allow the gunman to go free based on the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law they will be "sanctioning murder."
The family of Markeis McGlockton spoke out during a press conference at a church in Clearwater, Florida, saying they want justice for their loved one and will not rest until the State Attorney files charges against the man who gunned him down.
"Any kind of law that allows one man to kill another man, and the man who pulled the trigger doesn't even get fingerprinted ... it needs to stop. Something needs to be done," said McGlockton's father, Michael McGlockton, wearing a white T-shirt bearing his son's photo.
Markeis McGlockton, 28, was shot to death Thursday in front of his three young children after he came out of a Clearwater convenience store to find Michael Drejka, 47, verbally assaulting his girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, about parking in a handicap zone.
Surveillance video showed McGlockton getting between Drejka and Jacobs, and then pushing Drejka to the ground. The footage shows Drejka pulling a gun and firing as McGlockton appeared to be backing up, turning and retreating.
A wounded McGlockton stumbled back into the store and later died.
After Drejka, who holds a legal concealed-weapons permit, invoked the Stand Your Ground self-defense law, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri declined to file charges against him.
"He had to shoot to defend himself," Gualtieri, speaking at a press conference Friday, said of Drejka. "Those are the facts and that is the law. No matter how you slice it or dice it, that was a violent push to the ground."
But Michele Rayner, an attorney for McGlockton's parents, said Tuesday that Drejka should never have been allowed to invoke the Stand Your Ground law, which requires the person defending themselves to have a "reasonable" belief that they are in an imminent life-threatening situation before resorting to using deadly force.
Although results of the medical examiner's autopsy on McGlockton have not been released, the family contends he was shot in his left side, contradicting a sheriff's department statement that McGlockton was shot in the chest.
"It is our position that this case is not a Stand Your Ground case because one of the things that I know just practicing as a criminal defense attorney, you meet deadly force with deadly force," Rayner said. "Mr. McGlockton, he shoved Mr. Drejka. He shoved him because he was advancing on Ms. Jacobs, he was advancing on the vehicle and he shoved him to protect her and two of his three children that were in the vehicle at that time."
She said McGlockton was not armed, and there is no evidence that Drejka was in imminent danger, let alone life-threatening danger.
"You cannot provoke a fight and then hide behind Stand Your Ground. That's really what's happened," Rayner said.
Rayner and McGlockton's family say they want Sheriff Gualtieri to continue investigating the case before turning it over to Bernie McCabe, the State Attorney for Pinellas County, who will make a decision on whether charges against Drejka are warranted.
ABC News has made numerous attempts to seek comment from Drejka, but he has not responded to phone calls. He's also posted a sign outside his house that he's not commenting and advising reporters not to trespass.
"We believe and we're confident and very hopeful that the office of Bernie McCabe will do the right thing in this case and will file charges against Mr. Drejka," Rayner said. "We're asking the office of Bernie McCabe to file charges against Mr. Drejka because if not they're sanctioning a murder, plain and simple."
Rayner said if Drejka is allowed to get off scot-free, she fears what will happen next.
"It could become open season, and then you're going to have people hiding behind this law," she said.
McGlockton's family began the press conference by focusing on how McGlockton lived, not how he died.
"Markeis was a loving father. He was a very good son. He was quiet, but he just loved everybody," said his mother, Monica Moore, before becoming overcome with grief and no longer able to speak.
Michael McGlockton added: "Markeis was a gentle giant. Markeis, he was a man above all men. I raised him to be a man, and, unfortunately, it cost him his life."
His girlfriend, Jacobs, the mother of his three children, said McGlockton was "the best man in the world."
"He stood by my side. He stood by his kids' side. He was always there," she said. "He didn't have to go like this."