In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at six o'clock on the evening of Monday, August 31, 2020, 65-year-old Mohammed Afzal knocked on his neighbor's door and complained about grass clippings that had gotten onto his lawn. A surveillance camera captured 35-year-old Naeem Sarosh and Mr. Afzal discussing the matter. The two men were standing on Mr. Sarosh's driveway. Suddenly, Mr. Afzal pulled out a handgun and shot his neighbor. When the wounded Mr. Sarosh ran toward his house, Mohammed Afzal shot him in the back. Mr. Sarosh died on the front stoop of his house.
After killing his neighbor, Mr. Afzal returned to his house, changed his clothes, and waited for the police.
When questioned by detectives, the murder suspect claimed he shot his neighbor under the belief that he was armed. He said he thought this because Mr. Sarosh was a Milwaukee County Community Police Service Officer.
According to a resident of the neighborhood, Mr. Afzal and his family kept to themselves. Moreover, the suspect and Mr. Sarosh, a well-liked man with two daughters, had a history of not getting along.
A Milwaukee County Prosecutor, on September 1, 2020, charged Mohammed Afzal with first-degree reckless homicide and use of a dangerous weapon.
This case reveals the disturbing fact that people are commonly murdered over trivial matters. Marvin Wolfgang, in his classic 1958 text, Patterns of Homicide, called this "simplicity of motive."
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