Saturday, September 22, 2018
Public safety

Mix of grief, energy at Markeis McGlockton funeral

LARGO — Inside Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, memories of Markeis McGlockton were everywhere.

On a banner near the altar. On T-shirts in the pews. In speeches by loved ones delivered just a few feet from where McGlocton lay in a wooden casket, killed in a "stand your ground’’ shooting last week that has drawn national attention.

"He showed me family was the most important thing," said his brother, Karohn Walker, 21.

"Markeis would give you anything," said Andre Danford, who is engaged to McGlockton’s sister, Markeisha. "Let Markeis’ death be reason to make preparations in life to live better, do better."

His parents, Michael McGlockton and Monica Moore-Robinson, sat in the front pew with their son’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, who gave McGlockton one last hug before his mother closed the casket. The women looked on with somber faces. Sunglasses hid the elder McGlockton’s eyes.

But the funeral, which the family termed a "Celebration of Life’’ also had the feel of a community ready to mobilize.

"It’s not over," Pastor Carlton Childs, president of the Upper Pinellas County Ministerial Alliance, told the 250 mourners who filled the church.

Though the service started with a request to refrain from politics, two people were stationed in the hall outside with voter registration forms.

Chris King, a Democratic candidate for governor, was in attendance. So were Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and a representative from the office of U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg.

Crist, along with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and three other members of Congress, have called for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the July 19 shooting, which began with an argument over a parking space.

The days after included a vigil, a protest, two news conferences and Jacobs’ hiring of prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, known for representing the families of unarmed black men killed in violent encounters, including Trayvon Martin.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Community holds vigil in Clearwater for man killed in parking lot dispute, protests ‘stand your ground.’

And there was the video of the shooting, played over and over on news sites and social media.

It shows Michael Drejka, 47, who is white, shooting McGlockton, 28, who is black, in a convenience store parking lot.

Authorities say Drejka confronted Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend, about parking in a handicap-reserved space without a permit.

McGlockton went up to Drejka and shoved him to the ground with both hands. Seconds later, while still on the ground, Drejka pulled out his handgun and shot McGlockton. The father of three was pronounced dead soon after.

Drejka said he was he was in fear of being attacked again. He owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Florida’s "stand your ground’’ law precluded him from arresting Drejka, reigniting furious debate over the controversial measure.

The Sheriff’s Office will soon forward the case to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office, who can still charge Drejka.

At the funeral, Pastor Konrad McCree Jr., tasked with delivering Saturday’s eulogy, addressed the mourners with pointed words from Psalm 37:

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’’.

"All of us have been in situations where it seems as if the evildoer will win," the pastor said, speaking his own words now. "All of us have been in situations where it appears that the one who has done wrong will get away ... The Lord has instructed me to tell you today that you don’t have to worry because soon is on the way."

The crowd erupted.

Times staff photographer Octavio Jones contributed to this report. Contact Kathryn Varn at [email protected] or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kathrynvarn.

Comments
FHP: He stopped to help — then another driver killed him and stole his car

FHP: He stopped to help — then another driver killed him and stole his car

ST. PETERSBURG — An act of kindness ended tragically when the body of a missing motorist was found Friday more than 15 hours after he pulled over on the side of Interstate 275 to assist another driver.Dhimitri Andoni, 22, of Clearwater was driving no...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Fatal Friday night crash closes lanes on Ulmerton Road

Fatal Friday night crash closes lanes on Ulmerton Road

ST. PETERSBURG — A fatal traffic crash occurred at about 7:15 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Ulmerton Road and Carillon Parkway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash closed all westbound lanes of Ulmerton Road.No additional informati...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Deputies seek two men wanted in sexual battery at Tampa motel

Deputies seek two men wanted in sexual battery at Tampa motel

TAMPA — Deputies are asking for the public’s help to identify two men they believe committed a sexual battery on Sept. 15 near an east Tampa hotel.The attack took place inside a vehicle at the Quality Inn & Suites at 10007 Princess Palm Ave., accordi...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sheriff: Pinellas deputy fired for alerting inmate about cell search

Sheriff: Pinellas deputy fired for alerting inmate about cell search

A Pinellas County detention deputy was terminated on Friday for revealing confidential information about a scheduled search of jail cells for weapons and other contraband, said Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.Detention deputy Michelle Parsons, 48, adm...
Updated: 10 hours ago
'Divorce Court' woman accused of sex with boy, 15; he says he may have fathered her newborn

'Divorce Court' woman accused of sex with boy, 15; he says he may have fathered her newborn

HUDSON — A 26-year-old woman has been charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery after a 15-year-old boy told deputies he could be father of her newborn child, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. The boy, who has not been nam...
Published: 09/21/18
Deputies: Spring Hill man set fire to ex-girlfriend’s home in July

Deputies: Spring Hill man set fire to ex-girlfriend’s home in July

SPRING HILL — A 27-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with a July building fire, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Christopher Lamar Jamison of Spring Hill faces 10 counts of attempted murder and charges of arson and agg...
Published: 09/21/18
Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir paid hundreds of thousands dollars for drugs, federal court records show

Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir paid hundreds of thousands dollars for drugs, federal court records show

Robert Butler III, an heir to a well-known local flooring chain that bears his father’s name, participated in a money laundering scheme and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for cocaine and marijuana in recent years, according to federal court re...
Published: 09/21/18
St. Petersburg woman jumps from moving Uber to avoid kidnapping in Tallahassee

St. Petersburg woman jumps from moving Uber to avoid kidnapping in Tallahassee

It had been about 25 minutes since they passed her drop-off. So, realizing the driver wasn’t going to let her out, 19-year-old Brooke Adkins rolled down the window of the moving car and jumped.Police found her minutes later in a Tallahassee Wa...
Published: 09/21/18
After record-setting day in Tampa, last day of summer brings more stifling heat

After record-setting day in Tampa, last day of summer brings more stifling heat

Weather in Tampa on Thursday took one step above the previous record high, then another for good measure.The high temperature in Tampa reached 96 degrees Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. That beat the old record of 94 by two degre...
Published: 09/21/18
5 people, 3 of them infants, stabbed at New York City day care center

5 people, 3 of them infants, stabbed at New York City day care center

NEW YORK — Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens.NBC New York reports that authorities say the stabbings happened just before 4 a.m. Friday. One of the inf...
Published: 09/21/18