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Markeis McGlockton's autopsy shows he turned away from shooter

A screengrab of surveillance video showing the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton (left) by Michael Drejka on July 19. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published Sep. 26, 2018

The autopsy for Markeis McGlockton, who was killed in a shooting that set off a debate about Florida's stand your ground law, shows the bullet entered his body at an angle and tore through his heart and both lungs.

The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office released the autopsy Tuesday, more than two months after the July 19 shooting. Included was a toxicology report that showed McGlockton, 28, had the amphetamines MDA and MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, in his system.

Representatives from the Medical Examiner's Office declined to comment.

The autopsy, which lists the cause of death as a gunshot wound of the chest and the manner as homicide, shows the bullet entered just below his left nipple and lodged in his right armpit.

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Dr. Stephen Nelson, another medical examiner in the state, reviewed the autopsy for the Tampa Bay Times and said it was consistent with a widely circulated surveillance video of the shooting, which shows McGlockton, 28, started to turn away after the shooter, Michael Drejka, drew his gun.

"In order to make that, you would almost have to be standing oblique to the shooter, and that's what's depicted in the video," said Nelson, whose office serves Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.

The bullet's path through McGlockton's lungs and heart filled his chest with about a liter of blood, Nelson said. He added that the gun Drejka used, a .40-caliber Glock, packs a lot of punch.

"It's got a lot of umph in that bullet," he said.

The toxicology report shows traces of the amphetamines in both McGlockton's urine and blood. Nelson said the amount is not unusually high or low and that the drugs can cause hyperactivity and insomnia. It's unclear how long they had been in his system, Nelson said, but the fact that they showed up in his blood suggests more recent ingestion.

TIMELINE: The Markeis McGlockton case, from shooting to stand your ground furor to shooter's arrest

The shooting at the Circle A Food Store on Sunset Point Road started with an argument between Drejka and McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, over why she had parked in a handicap-reserved parking space without a permit. McGlockton, who learned of the argument from a bystander while he was inside the store, went outside and shoved Drejka to the ground. Drejka drew his gun and shot McGlockton.

The case drew national attention after Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cited Florida's controversial stand your ground law in his decision not to arrest Drejka and refer the case to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office.

ORIGINAL STORY: No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space

DOUBLING DOWN: Sheriff Gualtieri defends 'stand your ground' decision in convenience store shooting

It has also drawn claims of racial injustice, with civil rights activists calling it another example of a white person shooting an unarmed black man. Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who signed on to represent Jacobs, released a statement Tuesday in response to the autopsy and toxicology reports:

"We are seeing the same old narrative played out now on Mr. Markeis McGlockton as we've seen before; when an unarmed black man is shot dead, he is not treated as the victim that he is. Instead, he is criminalized, his character assassinated — all for the crooked justification of his death and the actions of his killer," the statement says.

"Markeis acted in a way that any good man would when he saw his children and their mother being verbally assaulted by a stranger. Markeis McGlockton was an upstanding family man who acted in such a way to protect his family."

Prosecutors filed a manslaughter charge against Drejka last month. He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Monday with an electronic monitor on his ankle after a bond agent posted his $100,000 bail.

He didn't speak as he walked from the jail to the parking lot.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a medical examiner.

Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or kvarn@tampabay.com. Follow @kathrynvarn.

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