CLEARWATER, Fla. — Two months to the day after Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed, friends, family, and a community held a vigil to celebrate his life.
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During those two months, McGlockton's family struggled to cope with the loss while speaking out about his murder.
Tonight, surrounded by a group of about 100 supporters, they just listened.
"This is month two of realizing and kind of dealing with the fact that their son, their partner, their father is no longer here," said family attorney Michelle Rayner. "So it’s been really beautiful to see the community come together and they’re really thankful for that."
That community wrote the family letters and painted them pictures.
The tributes focused on all the things the family said McGlockton liked to do, and not on the man accused of shooting and killing him in what the Pinellas County Sheriff initially called a 'stand your ground' case.
"On a night like tonight I'd rather not deal with him," Rayner said, talking about accused shooter Michael Drejka. "I rather not talk about him. I rather not even uplift him. He has no place here tonight — really, this is about Markeis and we want to keep it about Markeis."
However, some at the gathering could not help but think of the 'what ifs.'
"In his mind, he was defending himself, but from the tapes, he was just pushed away from an argument and he could have walked away with a bruised ego and a bruised behind," said Petia Rodewald, speaking about Drejka. "Instead, he took a person’s life."