A Tennessee convenience store employee who gunned down a fleeing Black teen accused of stealing a $2 can of beer was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Thursday, authorities said.
Anwar Ghazali, a clerk at the Top Stop Shop in North Memphis, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-of Dorian Harris last March. A jury convicted him in the crime in August.
The shooting unfolded just after 10 p.m. on March 29 when Harris stopped in the store. Surveillance footage shows the teen walking inside and heading straight for a cooler, where he grabs a beer. Harris is seen leaving just seconds later.
In the video, an armed Ghazali, 30, is seen trailing the teen as he leaves the store. A pursuit ensued and ended with the store clerk firing several shots, one of which severed Harris’ femoral artery, causing him to bleed out.
The young man’s body was found behind an abandoned home two days later.
“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 Lora Fowler said at Ghazali’s trial earlier this year. “Why are you using deadly force to defend a [drink]?”
Authorities said the clerk returned to the store without calling police or emergency services.
Harris’ death triggered days of protests that shuttered the Top Stop Shop for two weeks.