Lathrup Village police officer suspected in fatal assault of neighbor

An argument escalated into a deadly assault and the suspect is a Lathrup Village police officer.

At about 8 p.m. in the 8000 block of Whitcomb Street, the 41-year-old victim jumped the fence of the suspect while he was in his yard.

A physical fight ensued in which the off-duty officer inflicted a strike to the head of the victim, Detroit police say.

EMS responded but pronounced the victim dead at the scene. No weapons were reported used.

Police say the assault was the result of a feud that had been brewing a long time.

The suspect was barbecuing in his backyard when his neighbor came over the two exchanged words, which turned into a physical fight.

Police say that officer is now down at Detroit police headquarters and is fully co-operating with police during the investigation.

What we don't know right is the exact circumstances of what led up to the attack or how he died whether from a punch or if he hit his head when he fell. Both scenarios are under investigation at this time.

One thing Detroit police want to make clear is the officer was not targeted in any way by the victim.

"I don't believe he was attacked because he was a police officer," said Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt. "There's been a spate of that around the country. I do not believe at this time, that was the reason for the attack."

FOX 2 is told the off-duty officer is a veteran of the force and has worked for a number of police agencies including Detroit police.

As for the victim, police say the family is at the scene but not all of his family members have been notified.