The manslaughter trial of a Florida man who claims self-defense under the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law began Wednesday in Pinellas County.
Michael Drejka, 49, told authorities he was defending himself when he fatally shot a man who had pushed him to the ground in a handicapped parking spot dispute.
The shooting occurred on July 19, 2018, outside a Circle A convenience store, officials said.
Markeis McGlockton, 29, had gone inside his 5-year-old son to pick up food and drinks, according to sheriff's deputies. His girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, remained in their vehicle with their other two children.
Drejka approached Jacobs and the two argued over the car being parked in a handicapped spot without a visible permit, authorities said.
McGlockton emerged from the store, saw Drejka arguing with his girlfriend, and shoved the man, who hit the ground, officials said. Drejka, who told investigators he feared for his life, pulled a pistol and shot McGlockton, who then died in front of his young son, authorities said.
Jacobs said she feared for her own safety because Drejka appeared so angry.
The defendant has claimed he should be protected under the Florida law that allows deadly force to be used by someone who fears "imminent death or great bodily harm."
The statute was also claimed by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012.