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Man accused in store owner’s murder has lengthy criminal record

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The man accused in the murder of a Berclair store owner has spent more than two decades in and out of jail, court records show.

Police say Dorsey Rawls, 39, shot and killed father of two Ahmed Khamous in front of the Z Market on Waring Road Thursday after Khamous tried to kick him off the property.

People have been stopping by the store since Khamous' murder to pay their respects, leaving flowers, balloons and candles.

Since 1995, Rawls has served time in jail for everything from drugs, to assault, indecent exposure and stalking.

This time he’s charged with first-degree murder after investigators say he confessed to shooting and killing Khamous.

“This is a sad thing," Gerald Gray said. "I mean, everybody in the neighborhood’s disturbed about it.”

Court records show Rawls, who’s in a wheelchair, told police he shot Khamous because “he felt threatened" after the store owner told him to leave the parking lot.

When Khamous fell to the ground, Rawls rolled over to him and shot him again, according to the arrest affidavit.

Jeff Droke is part of Berclair’s Neighborhood Watch and says Rawls was homeless and often hung out near the store.

“He was a regular in this area," he said. “He’s been out here a few times, and I’ve seen him behind Kroger’s with a sign, ‘Needing food,’ you know, ‘Hungry for food.’”

It’s clear from the growing memorial outside the store and the people who stopped by to talk to WREG Sunday that Khamous was beloved, not only by those who live in the neighborhood, but the family he leaves behind.

“It’s just sad that he had a wife and two small children and now they’re without a father and a husband, all because of something senseless," Droke said.

Another senseless crime taking the life of another innocent person.

“We’ve got a serious problem in Memphis," Gray said. "We’ve got a real serious problem.”

“I’ve lived in Memphis all my life, and I just don’t – I don’t know know what’s gonna happen if it keeps going like it is," Michael Baugh said.

A sign at the store says it's closed until Monday, but loved ones and people in the community are holding a vigil there Sunday at 8 p.m. in Khamous' honor.

Dorsey is being held without bond. He’ll be in court Monday morning.

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