Milwaukee, WI – Police officials said they believe an off-duty 35-year-old Milwaukee police community service officer was gunned down by his neighbor on Monday night because he made a joke about the neighbor’s lawn mowing.
The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. on Aug. 31 in the area of South 22nd Place and West Barnard Avenue in front of the community service officer’s home, WISN reported.
Police arrested a 65-year-old suspect at the scene who allegedly shot the community service officer during a disagreement between neighbors, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The family of the victim identified their loved one as 35-year-old Milwaukee Police Community Service Officer Naeem Sarosh, WTMJ reported.
Acting Milwaukee Police Chief Michael Brunson said the community service officer had worked for the police department for four years.
Community service officers are not sworn police officers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
A 2017 job description said community service officers are unarmed and respond to non-emergency police calls, help with accident investigations, take police reports, and assist in other tasks.
“This employee was beloved, well respected, and well liked,” Chief Brunson said. “This is a tragic day for the Milwaukee Police Department and for this city.”
Neighbor Tammy Mitton told WTMJ that she overhead Sarosh and his older neighbor arguing outside on Aug. 31.
“I heard loud discussion, couldn’t make out any words, but then, a man just screamed at the top of his lungs, ‘I told you to put that down,’” Mitton said.
A family friend told WTMJ that Sarosh was joking with his next-door neighbor about throwing his grass clippings over onto Sarosh’s lawn when the neighbor pulled out a gun.
Witnesses said Sarosh grabbed his wife and tried to run for it but he was shot four times before he could get away.
The community service officer died in his front yard, WTMJ reported.
Chief Brunson said he would be providing additional details on the 35-year-old community service officer’s murder after all the notifications had been made, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
A neighbor told WISN that she rendered aid and tried to save the man’s life after he was shot.
She said the fallen community service officer’s brother is a Milwaukee police officer who responded to the scene when his brother was shot.
The neighbor said the officer performed CPR on his dying brother after he got there, according to WISN.
She also said she though the community service officer’s daughters were home when their father was shot.
Police have not yet said how many shots were fired or how many gunshot wounds the victim sustained, WISN reported.
It remained unclear as to whether Sarosh and the man who shot him had an acrimonious relationship in the past.
Police said neighbors and family told them that the two families were good friends.
“I’m dumbfounded by it because everybody is very quiet. We always say hello. Nobody bothers anybody. It’s shocking,” Mitton told WTMJ.
Chief Brunson said the Milwaukee Police Department’s Homicide Division was investigation the community service officer’s slaying, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Police have not yet released the name of the man who shot the off-duty community service officer.