Neighbors call for store shutdown after teen killed for alleged beer theft

Neighborhood protests store after owner shoots, kills suspected shoplifter
Published: Apr. 3, 2018 at 1:14 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 3, 2018 at 7:52 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police say a store clerk shot and killed a teenage customer last Thursday.

The boy's body wasn't found until three days later beside a nearby house.

Investigators said the store clerk never reported the shooting to authorities, even though he suspected his bullet hit the teen.

Monday, the neighborhood where it happened was filled with outrage when the store reopened for business.

"They need to shut this store down completely," said longtime North Memphis resident Twin Brooks.

Brooks joined several dozen protesters calling for the Top Stop Shop in the 1100 block of Springdale to close.

"You shouldn't open up no store after you killed somebody's child," Brooks said.  "You have to think about it.  People will retaliate."

Memphis police arrested the clerk, Anwar Ghazali, over the weekend.  He's charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Dorian Harris.

Investigators said Ghazali shot Harris, believing the teen shoplifted a beer.

"That young man was shot over a 79-cent beer, and I don't see why he was shot," said 10-year-old Corderro Wright.

Wright's brother went to school with Harris.  He and many other children joined the protest. They said they were inspired by recent MLK50 events.

"I think it's wrong he got shot," Wright said.

Keedran Franklin, an experienced Black Lives Matter demonstrator who was out on the I-40 bridge during that protest, showed up, too.

"You're not used to seeing people in North Memphis protest," Franklin said.  "So I decided to come out here and support them and 30 seconds of me coming out here, I was detained."

Memphis police eventually let Franklin go.

With nearly a dozen squad cars on the block, and as many officers watching, the protesters stood their ground across the street from the store.

They demanded the Top Stop to stop doing business in their community.

"You know, we just want justice and we want peace," Brooks said.

Protesters told WMC Action News 5 they'd rather see a video arcade or a laundry mat in the store's location.

Police arrested two people at the protest. One person had outstanding warrants, and their name has not been released yet. Police said the other person, identified as Spencer Kaaz, was arrested for disorderly conduct and interfering with officers serving process.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.