Hialeah Store Owner Charged After Shooting Customer

Police said the shooting happened after an argument at the Hialeah store.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Miami-Dade Corrections
    Jorge Mesa

    Instead of opening up his Hialeah business Wednesday morning, 30-year-old Jorge Mesa woke up in jail and appeared in front of a judge.

    Police say the store owner shot a customer following an altercation.

    "We're trying to find out why he shot him," Hialeah police spokesman Carl Zogby said. "Was it self-defense or was it just a heated argument? Apparently there's some sort of history between the two."

    The argument started inside La Gloria mini-mart near the Tri-Rail station at at 1120 East 25 Street. At some point, Mesa told customer Antoine Perry, 34, to leave the store.

    According to Hialeah Police, in-store surveillance video shows the two continuing to argue. When Perry starts to walk out, Mesa allegedly shoots the customer twice, once in the thigh and once in the knee.

    "He wasn't moving much," said a customer who identified himself as Tubbs. "He looked like he was in a lot of pain."

    Police charged Mesa with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon because self-defense, or the "stand your ground" law, doesn't apply to property. Officials said it did not appear Mesa's life was in danger, but it's possible the customer he shot had psychological problems.

    Perry was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he is currently in stable condition. Police said he is listed as homeless.

    Customers had mixed feelings about the store owner's role in the shooting.

    "My impression of him is, he would shoot you because he's just not friendly," Tubbs said.

    But others disagree.

    "The owner's a nice guy," said customer Robert Ledesma. "I talk to him every now and then. He's from New York from where I'm at. You know I talk to him and he's a real nice guy."

    A judge has set Mesa's bond at $15,000. It is unclear if he has an attorney.