Man 'admitted' fatally shooting community service officer over grass clippings

65-year-old Mohammed Afzal of Milwaukee has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon in the fatal shooting of Milwaukee Police Community Service Officer Naeem Sarosh.

Mohammed Afzal

Sarosh was fatally shot at a residence near 22nd Place and Layton Avenue on the evening of Monday, Aug. 31.

Naeem Sarosh

According to the criminal complaint, police were dispatched to the residence and found Sarosh shot on a front stoop. Lifesaving measures were attempted -- but Sarosh was pronounced deceased on the scene.

MPD employee fatally shot in 'neighbor dispute' near 22nd and Layton

The complaint indicates Afzal is Sarosh's next-door neighbor -- and that the shooting "incident was captured on video and the defendant confessed." The complaint says the "shooting occurred after the defendant or someone from the defendant's household mowed the defendant's lawn and left grass clippings on the victim's adjoining property. The victim knocked on the defendant's side door to complain about the grass clippings. The defendant came to the side door, and the two men had a discussion about the grass clippings. During the discussion, the defendant fired a gun at the victim."

Video of the incident was captured by a camera on Afzal's house. 

In an interview with police, Afzal "admitted shooting the victim" -- and said "he came to the door already carrying his pistol." Afzal told police "because the victim had his hands in his pockets, he thought the victim had a gun, so he shot him. He said that after shooting the victim, he went inside, put his gun away, and changed clothes because he knew the police would be coming for him."

Afzal is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Milwaukee Police Department

Sarosh was laid to rest on Wednesday. He was a four-year veteran with MPD, assigned to District 2 -- and he leaves behind a grieving wife and two young children. 

The Milwaukee Police Department issued the following statement: 

"Today the Milwaukee Police Department mourns the beloved loss of Naeem Sarosh, who served the Milwaukee Police Department as a Community Service Officer for the past four years. Officer Sarosh's inviting smile and gentle personality will be dearly missed in our community and our agency. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and friends on this day. Thank you, Officer Sarosh for all you have done for our community."

Community service officers are civilians -- not sworn police officers -- hired specifically for non-emergencies. They are not armed. Police said Sarosh was not on duty at the time of his death. 

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The shooting happened around 6 p.m., and police said a 65-year-old man was arrested shortly thereafter.