(CNN) — A Florida convenience store worker seen firing an AK-47 rifle at a customer who had threatened him did so in self-defense, his lawyer argued, and should be cleared of any charges under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Newly released surveillance footage shows Saf Ahmad, 30, shooting the rifle at the man as he left his Kwik Pic convenience store in Lauderhill, Florida, just west of Fort Lauderdale.
Ahmad, 30, was charged with aggravated battery in December 2017 after the Christmas Eve shooting.
Ahmad’s attorney Andrew Rier was unavailable for comment Wednesday in observance of Yom Kippur, but he told CNN affiliate WSVN this week that the shooting falls under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which can protect people who use lethal force to defend themselves against perceived threats without retreating first.
“Mr. Ahmad did not provoke the confrontation,” he said. “The confrontation was brought to Mr. Ahmad, and he defended himself.”
According to the arrest affidavit, Ahmad told police a man named Jason Morris entered the store and made verbal threats to store employees, threatening to return and kill them in retribution for a friend who was beaten there.
The footage shows Morris arguing with employees.
Morris left the store, kicked a trashcan and hurled it at the store’s door. Ahmad grabbed a Glock handgun and headed outside after him.
In the footage, Morris is seen driving his car in circles in the store’s parking lot. Rier said Morris threw an object that sounded like a firearm, though the surveillance video doesn’t show him in possession of a weapon.
Ahmad told police that Morris opened his car door and shot at him with a firearm.
Ahmad tried to fire his pistol, but it jammed, so he headed back inside the store and returned with an AK-47 rifle, according to the affidavit and video.
He fired the AK-47 several times, and one of the bullets hit Morris, court records show.
Morris drove away and crashed his car nearby when Lauderhill police found him and identified him as the victim, the affidavit says. He survived his injuries.
A circuit court will hear a motion to dismiss Ahmad’s charge on November 1, according to the court’s notice of hearing.
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