LARGO, Fla. - Family and friends bid final farewell Saturday to a father of three whose death has resurrected the debate over Florida's State Your Ground law.
The loved ones of Markeis McGlockton of Clearwater gathered at 11 a.m. Saturday at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Largo to remember the man who was fatally shot July 19 after an argument over a parking space.
"The family is hurt right now. This is one of their darkest hours," Andre Danford said.
Danford is McGlockton's brother-in-law.
"We're just trying to stay together....stay strong....just make it through together, Danford said.
McGlockton's death has drawn widespread interest in the days since Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Michael Drejka would not be charged.
Authorities said Drejka, 47, initially confronted McGlockton's girlfriend about parking in a handicapped space without a permit at the Circle A Food Store in unincorporated Clearwater.
Drejka pulled his handgun and fired at McGlockton for fear of his safety after McGlockton shoved him to the ground, Gualtieri said. The incident was recorded on surveillance video.
Gualtieri's office will forward the case to Pinellas County State Attorney Bernie McCabe for a final decision. An official in McCabe's office on Friday said they had not yet received the case.
In the week since McGlockton's death, community residents and members of the NAACP have held rallies and marched to draw attention to Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law and requested lawmakers make changes.
McGlockton's family and attorneys also have held news conferences and media events to request justice for the 28-year-old father of three.
Senator Bill Nelson has requested that the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice investigate.
"Everybody knows you stand your ground it (is) just grounds to kill anybody by any means necessary for any excuse," Danford said.