Police: Wisconsin Man Kills Neighbor Over Grass Clippings Dispute

‘These types of senseless acts of violence should disturb us all,’ Milwaukee’s mayor says.

September 03, 2020

Mohammed Afzal [Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office]

Mohammed Afzal [Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Wisconsin man allegedly shot dead his off-duty community service officer neighbor during what appeared to be a relaxed discussion about grass clippings, police said.

On Aug. 31 around 6 p.m., Mohammed Afzal, 65, claimed Naeem Sarosh, 35, knocked on his door and was “complaining about that grass” that got onto his property after Afzal mowed the lawn, according to a criminal complaint obtained by WDJT-TV.

A surveillance camera allegedly captured the two having a calm conversation before Afzal suddenly fired a gun at Sarosh, who had gone back to stand on his own driveway during the talk.

When Sarosh tried to run back inside his house, Afzal shot a second time, striking him in the back, according to the criminal complaint. The suspect then reportedly changed his clothes and waited for police.

Afzal now faces a charge of first-degree reckless homicide.

He allegedly told investigators that Sarosh had his hands in his pockets and he shot him because he believed his neighbor — who was not sworn and unarmed in his job as a community service officer — had a gun.

“I’m dumbfounded by it,” neighbor Tammy Mitton told WTMJ-TV of the incident. “We all say hello, nobody bothers anybody. It’s shocking.”

Neighbor Nicole Santiago said the suspect was a decades-long resident of the area and his family was “secluded,” while Sarosh, a married father of two daughters, was “a really nice man with a big heart” who had moved to the neighborhood around five years ago, the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reported.

The criminal complaint stated other members of the neighboring families had been on friendly terms before the shooting. However, Afzal didn’t get along with Sarosh “for some reason” and the two would get into recurring disputes.

Milwaukee’s mayor, Tom Barrett, noted in a statement: “While the circumstances of the situation haven’t been fully determined, these types of senseless acts of violence should disturb us all.”


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