Milwaukee community officer killed over joke on grass clippings

Police lights by night

A close-up photo of police lights by night (Credit: Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CNN NEWSOURCE) — Friends and neighbors are still trying to wrap their heads around the killing of a police community officer in Milwaukee.

They say he was shot by his neighbor Monday night while he was off-duty. According to a family friend, it happened after the officer joked about grass clippings. The family identifies the Milwaukee police community service officer as Naeem Sarosh. The 35-year-old father of two had been with the Milwaukee police department for four years.

One of Sarosh’s neighbors said she overheard the two families arguing earlier Monday night.

“I heard loud discussion couldn’t make it out any words, then I heard a man scream at the top of his lungs, ‘I told you to put that down,'” Tammy Mitton said.

A family friend said Sarosh was talking to his 65-year-old neighbor while the neighbor was mowing his lawn. They said Sarosh joked with his neighbor, saying the man was throwing his grass on his lawn. That’s when the suspect allegedly pulled a gun from his pocket and started shooting. Sarosh grabbed his wife and tried to run inside, but he was shot four times.

“I’m dumbfounded by it because everybody is very quiet,” Mitton said. “We always say hello, nobody bothers anybody. it’s shocking.”

The 65-year old man was taken into custody.

Sarosh was a civilian employee for the police department and responds to crimes like vandalism and non-injury traffic crashes to take pictures and reports. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett released a statement saying he was a well-respected employee and “while circumstances of the situation haven’t been fully determined, these types of senseless acts of violence should disturb us all.”


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