Video of a Florida convenience store owner firing on an unarmed customer with an AK-47 on Christmas Eve 2017, was released this week as a judge considers whether the owner acted in good faith under Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law.
Saf Ahmad, was working at the Kwik Pic convenience store in Lauderhill, Florida on Christmas Eve 2017 when Jason Morris entered the store and got into a heated conversation with a store employee. Surveillance video shows Morris kicking over a large trash can from the store before exiting. Morris then throws another trash can from outside the store before he returns back to his car and drives around the parking lot in circles, before throwing something at the store's door.
That's when Ahmad can be seen running out of the store holding an AK-47 and firing on Morris with the weapon as the teenager drove away. One of Ahmad's bullets hit Morris in the back, causing him to suffer a permanent disability.
Ahmad was arrested by police following the incident and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. According to the arrest report, Morris told police that he'd gone to the store to complain about an incident in which his friend had been beaten outside the Florida convenience store. When the confrontation escalated, Morris said he left and tried leaving the store's parking lot before realizing he needed to turn around to go through another exit to reach the main road. Morris did admit to police that he threw a bottle of castor oil at the store as he exited the parking lot, which is when Ahmad came out shooting.
Ahmad claimed he acted in self-defense under Florida's 'Stand Your Ground Law,' which removes the requirement that citizens need to try and retreat before using deadly force in a fight.
"Mr. Ahmad fully cooperated with the investigation, without a lawyer. He gave a record statement for hours," Ahmad's defense lawyer, Andrew Rier, told the Miami Herald. "He made sure 911 was called, and provided the video surveillance used by the police. He made every effort to protect his customers and employees, in defending himself from what he believed to be an imminent threat."
The store owner told police he saw Morris pull out a handgun when he returned to his car and that Morris had come into the store, threatening to kill him and his employees. According to a court filing from last July, Ahmad even feared the bottle Morris had thrown at the store might have been a grenade.
"In this case, Mr. Ahmad believed he had no choice but to use force necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself as well as others present," the court filing stated.
Ahmad is due back in court on November 1.