Store clerk sentenced to 22 years for killing teen over $2 drink

A Memphis store clerk was charged in the March 2018 killing of a 17-year-old. Police said he chased the youth from his store, shot him and left him to die

(photo by Fotolia)

A store clerk in Memphis has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for fatally shooting a 17-year-old Black boy over a $2 beverage.

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, former convenience store employee Anwar Ghazali, was accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Dorian Harris in March 2018 and in August was found guilty of murder in the second degree by a jury today in Shelby County criminal court. He was sentenced on Thursday.

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During the trial, Ghazali’s defense team said he only intended to fire a warning shot into the air, and had no intention of killing Harris as the young man fled the store.

Surveillance video shows Harris walking into the store at approximately 10 p.m. on March 29, and shortly after he walked out with a beer, the store clerk came out and started chasing him.

Witnesses also say they observed Ghazali searching for Harris in the parking lot, before chasing him down the block and firing his gun three times.

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That negates the warning shot defense and to make matters worse, the police report says after the shooting, Ghazali allegedly returned to his store and had no problem telling customers he shot Harris, but made no attempts to call 911.

Harris’ body was found two days later in a neighbor’s backyard about four blocks away from the store

“He just left him out there to die, and I do believe in all my heart that if he had called the police and let somebody know that he shot somebody that my grandson would have been alive today,” Effie Fitch, Harris’ grandmother explained.