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Memphis store clerk found guilty of gunning down teen who stole $2 can of beer

Anwar Ghazali guilty murder
Anwar Ghazali guilty of murder of Dorian Harris (pictured, right hand).
Anwar Ghazali guilty murder
Anwar Ghazali guilty of murder of Dorian Harris (pictured, right hand).

Memphis store clerk Anwar Ghazali guilty of murdering 17 year old black teen Dorian Harris after giving chase after the boy stole a $2 can of beer.

How much is a black teen’s life worth? A Tennessee store clerk has been found guilty of murder after shooting dead a 17-year-old teen boy who he caught stealing a $2 beer. 

Anwar Ghazali, 29, was convicted of second-degree murder on Thursday over the shooting death of Dorian Harris in Memphis last year. 

Ghazali faces between 15 to 60 years in prison upon his sentencing in October the Commercial Appeal reported

Police said the 17-year-old walked into the Top Stop Shop in Memphis where Ghazali was working on March 29, 2018 and took a beer from the cooler. 

Harris, who was only in the store for seven seconds, walked out without paying. 

Surveillance video showed Ghazali grabbing his handgun and pointing it at the teenager as he left the store.

Ghazali then ran after the teenager with his gun and fired two or three shots.

The store clerk was captured on surveillance cameras returning to the store soon after and police said he told a witness: ‘I think I shot him’. 

Police said Ghazali did not call 911. 

It remained unclear if Ghazali had fired at the teen because he was black as some have suggested on social media or would have shot at him regardless of the color of his skin.

Anwar Ghazali guilty murder: Disregard for human life.

During trial deliberations, Ghazali’s attorney had argued that his client had never intended to kill Harris as he chased him – claiming the store clerk firing his weapon into the air several times only as a warning. 

Harris was struck in the thigh with the bullet severing his femoral artery.  

The teenager bled out as he fled, with the teen’s body found two days later behind someone’s house close to the store. 

During closing arguments, the prosecutor said the teenager was killed over a $2 beer.

While conceding the boy should have never stolen the beer, Lora Fowler for the prosecution said the question was whether Ghazali, who wasn’t in fear of his life, should have shot and killed a fleeing Harris for stealing the beverage.

‘The defendant took it upon himself to be the judge, the jury and the executioner over a $2 (drink). That’s why we’re here,’ Fowler said, according to WMC5.

‘Why are you using deadly force to defend a (drink)?’  

Of note the defense counsel said Ghazali was fortunate he wasn’t tried in the first degree, with the store clerk, ‘exercising a disregard of human life’ given his willingness to shoot over a $2 beverage.

Why didn’t anyone think to call an ambulance or police after the shooting?

Beverly Loverson, who was in the store when Ghazali started chasing the teen, testified during the trial that she saw Harris leave with the beer.

She also recalled seeing Ghazali running past her with his gun. 

Loverson testified that she remembered thinking: ‘Don’t kill him. Don’t kill him. It’s just a beer’. 

She told the court that she overheard Ghazali say that he had struck the teenager but admitted she didn’t call police.  

‘I wish I had, it could have saved his life,’ she said.  

It remained unclear why the woman or the store clerk declined to call police or an ambulance?

The death of the teenager sparked two days of riots and protests outside the store. 

The Top Stop Shop was forced to close for two weeks in the wake of his death. 

Harris’ family have since filed a civil lawsuit against the store’s owner.