A shop employee has been found guilty of second-degree murder after he shot dead a 17-year-old boy who stole $2 beer.
29-year-old Anwar Ghazali was convicted on August 15, following three days of testimony.
The shooting took place in March 2018, when Dorian Harris walked out of the Top Stop Shop on Springdale Street in Memphis with two beers he had not paid for.
According to WMC Action News 5, security footage from inside the store showed Ghazali, who was working at the time, grab a gun and point it at the teen.
Ghazali followed the 17-year-old out of the store and fired several times. The employee did not call the police to inform them of the incident but as he returned to the store he reportedly told a witness ‘I think I shot him’.
No one, including witnesses in the store, called police to report the crime.
According to Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich, as per CNN, Harris was shot at least three times before being left to bleed out. His body was discovered two days later by North Memphis residents, who found the 17-year-old in a backyard located near the store.
The teen had gunshots in the back of his thigh.
In court, prosecutor Lora Fowler said:
This defendant took it upon himself to the be the judge and jury and the executioner over a $2 beer.
[Harris’] life was cut short when he was chased and shot at three times with a fatal gunshot wound to his left thigh and left to bleed out and die.
Ghazali’s defense attorney, Blake Ballin, told the jury the CCTV footage showed the actions of an innocent man, arguing the employee did not believe the shots had hit the teenager.
He pointed out the 29-year-old returned to work and made no attempt to hide the weapon or delete the footage, despite having the ability to do so.
Justice will not be served if a person is convicted of a crime they didn’t commit even if it helps Harris’s family.
According to WMC Action News 5, Harris’ father, Peete Hanson, drove from Alabama to attend the trial.
Why did this happen to my son? Why was it that he was left there like that? Like he was nothing. Like he was a nobody.
Second-degree murder carries a sentence of anywhere between 15 and 25 years. Ghazali is set to be sentenced on September 23.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.