Black teenager shot dead by a store clerk for stealing beer in Tennessee

Police in Tennessee, USA, have reported the death of a black teenager who was shot by a corner store clerk for shoplifting beer.

According to local media reports, the deceased has been identified as Dorian Harris. He was 17.


Image: Dorian Harris

Harris ran from Top Stop Shop after Anwar Ghazali, a 28-year-old employee at the convenience shop in Memphis, caught him red-handed around 10pm on Saturday. The “angry” clerk then pulled a gun from his right side, chased and shot him dead, police said.

After firing several shots at the teen, who his pursuer told police was still walking at a distance, Anwar went back to his duties at the store but told a witness, ‘I think I shot him.’ The Top Stop Shop clerk never called 911.

It wasn’t until March 31, two days after the incident between Anwar and Harris, that a Memphis resident named Sarah Patton found the black teen’s body lying next to her apartment and called police, Commercial Appeal reported. His body showed a gunshot wound on the thigh.

The Top Stop Shop attendant has been charged with first-degree murder.


Image: Anwar Ghazali

In her statement, Patton told police she heard gunshots a few nights ago, but never thought it was something serious since she didn’t see anyone running or heard someone screaming. Police confirmed Harris was wearing the same clothes he had on the night of Anwar’s alleged firing, Fox 13 reported.

Anwar told police he wasn’t “officially” sure that the black boy was hit, having waived his Miranda rights and admitting that he fired some reckless shots on that night.

Neighbours who live around the location where Harris’ body was found told WREG they did not think Anwar’s shooting was justified.

The woman who found Harris lying in cold blood near her home told the station, “He didn’t have to kill him, you know?”

“You don’t have any reason to be shooting no kids,” another neighbour added.

Memphis Police Department spokesman Louis Brownlee told Commercial Appeal, “We don’t want people to steal from businesses. We also don’t want people hunting suspects down and shooting them…If he’s not giving direct, imminent danger to you, leave it be. Call the cops. Let us figure it out.”

Harris’ grandmother Effie Fitch spoke with WMC saying, “He was only a child and that was an adult…He ought to have more responsibility than that and he’s running a business.”

Anwar is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

“I like beer, but not THAT much,” someone wrote in the comments section.