Anwar Ghazali, 29, faces between 15 and 60 years in prison for the death of Dorian Harris, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23.
The shooting took place on March 30, 2018, after Harris walked out of Ghazali’s store with a beer he didn’t pay for.
Ghazali, carrying a handgun, followed Harris outside and fired several times, prosecutors said. He reportedly told a witness upon returning to the store: “I think I shot him.”
Harris was shot at least three times and bled to death. His body was found two days later in a nearby abandoned yard, The Commercial Appeal reported.
Ghazali’s attorneys said the shots were not meant to kill Harris but were supposed to be warning shots. Prosecutors noted that surveillance video showed Ghazali re-enter the store and continue serving customers after his brief pursuit of Harris. The clerk did not report the theft or the shooting.
“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,” state Prosecutor Lee Fowler said. “Why are you using deadly force to defend a [drink]?”
Harris’ family has filed a civil suit against the store’s owner.