Teen shot and killed by store clerk for stealing beer

Teen shot and killed by store clerk for stealing beer
Anwar Ghazali (Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

Fox13 reports that a Tennessee teenager was shot and killed by a store clerk after he stole a beer from the shop. Police responded to a Death on Arrival call at a store on the 1100 block of Springdale, Memphis on Saturday afternoon and were informed of the shooting, which is said to have taken place last Thursday night.

A subsequent investigation found that the victim was one 17-year-old Dorian Harris, who had stolen from the store on Thursday night and was shot by the clerk as he was making his getaway. The wounds he sustained were grievous and the teen is said to have died a short while later on the side of a home in the Hyde Park neighborhood near the intersection of Springdale Street and South Hubert Circle. 

Police communications told the news channel that the body was found only on Saturday afternoon by a woman who lived close to where Harris was found, and that she then called up the authorities to inform them of the same. He was confirmed as the victim as he was wearing the same clothes as the night of the shooting.


Investigators say that Harris entered the store at 10:30 pm and stole one beer on that fateful night. He was immediately caught in the act by store clerk Anwar Ghazali, who drew his weapon from the right side of the body and followed Harris as he exited the store. 

As the teen tried to run away, Ghazali followed him and fired several shots at him, quite possibly catching him many times in the process. He reportedly returned to the store a short while later and according to witnesses, said: "I think I shot him."

Commenting on the incident, Memphis Police Department spokesman Louis Brownlee said: "The victim/suspect stole a beer and goes out of the store. The suspect tries to stop him. Shoots at him. Hits him once. He doesn't officially know that he hit him."

Harris' family said that the teen was a regular face at the store and would often drop by to do odd jobs for the owner. The day he was killed, they said he was supposed to head to a cousin's house, admitting that they did not notice his death because of the three-day weekend and the fact that he said he was going to spend the night at said cousin's place.


WM Action News reported the comments of Harris' grandmother, Effie Fitch, who decried the shooting and said: "It shouldn't have happened like that. He was a child and that was an adult. He ought to have more responsibility than that and he's running a business."

28-year-old Anwar Ghazali (Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

She continued: "If he had said something, Dorian's life could've been saved. You don't shoot nobody Thursday and here it is Saturday and you ain't said nothing about it," adding: "They know us. You didn't have to do nothing but just say, 'Dorian [is] in here picking up something,' which that ain't him, I don't think. But if he did do it like children do, why you just didn't tell him he can't come to the store no more?"


The 28-year-old Ghazali has been arrested by the authorities and charged with first-degree murder after admitting to shooting Harris. He supposedly did not call either law enforcement or medical help after he shot Harris. He is expected to appear in court on April 2 at 9 am. 

Brownlee said: "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."


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