A judge will decide next week if a Florida convenience store owner acted in self-defense when he fired an AK-47 at a customer who refused to leave his shop.
According to WSVN-TV, Saf Ahmad was charged with aggravated battery after firing at Jason Morris during the 2017 Christmas season. However, Ahmad and his attorney claim he was acting in-self defense in compliance with Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law when he shot his weapon.
Surveillance Shows Lauderhill Store Owner Firing AK-47 At Customer | NBC 6 www.youtube.com
What are the details?
A surveillance video obtained by NBC6 Miami shows Morris picking a fight upon entering Ahmad's store in Lauderhill, FL.
"He went to provoke a confrontation, and that's exactly what he got," attorney Andrew Reir, who is defending Ahmad, said. "He got what he wanted: a fight."
The situation escalated when Ahmad asked Morris to leave. In the security footage, the customer is then seen kicking a trash can in the parking lot and hurling it at the front door with the flying debris barely missing another customer. Thereafter, the store owner demanded Morris to leave again. Instead, the irate customer began circling his car.
At that point, Reir said that Morris threw an object at a wall that created a sound that resembled gunfire, prompting his client to act in self-defense.
"Mr. Ahmad was protecting himself, his store, his co-workers," the Florida attorney said. "If you don't believe that Saf Ahmad was in fear of imminent bodily harm, why did he push his employee into the store?"
Was it legal?
According to WSVN, at the time of the shooting, Ahmad had a lawful concealed weapons permit and was armed with a pistol. He first attempted to fire the handgun, but it jammed. The store owner then proceeded to grab his AK-47 and fired several shots at Morris. Ahmad claims he feared for his life and was acting in self-defense. Morris was struck by one of the bullets and crashed his car near the scene. He survived the shooting.
Arguing on behalf of his client, Reir said, "He did not bring this fight to the victim." Adding, "Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the victim brought it to Mr. Ahmad."
However, state officials are not convinced, arguing that Ahmad was not truly acting in self-defense.
"Together, these men possess at least three guns while Jason Morris had no guns, no knives," prosecutor Kristen Gomes said in court on Friday.
A judge is expected to consider a motion to dismiss the charge next week.