SUGAR LAND, Texas – After obtaining bodycam footage, the family of a man shot by a retired Sugar Land Police Department officer in August is now calling on Sugar Land City Council to conduct an investigation into the shooting independent of the police department.
The Kazi family and their attorney Omar Khawaja held a news conference Wednesday to “demand justice and a full review of all body camera evidence by the grand jury.”
Ozzy Kazi, 29, was wounded at around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 when his neighbor, the retired officer, shot him in the stomach. Police said the retired officer shot Kazi after he refused to leave the retired officer’s property.
Following the shooting, Kazi was hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries.
Dolcefino Consulting, hired by the Kazi family to investigate the shooting, recently obtained bodycam footage of the incident. In the footage, the retired officer is seen telling investigators he had been drinking prior to the shooting.
“We’re not stupid. Everyone knows it’s kind of awkward right to show up at the shooting scene and the shooter is the guy you used to work with,” Dolcefino said. " We all understand that. which is exactly why they should have stepped back immediately. Call the sheriff’s office and say guys we shouldn’t be the ones doing this.”
The Kazi family also expressed outrage that their 29-year-old son, who has a mental disability, could be charged with misdemeanor assault. The retired officer has not been charged with the shooting.
Kazi’s family said Kazi was the victim because he was shot in the stomach by his next-door neighbor, a retired Sugar Land officer. Police said Kazi repeatedly rang a neighbor’s doorbell before walking onto the former officer’s property. Officers said the former officer got his gun and told Kazi to leave his property but said Kazi refused and started attacking the retired officer inside his garage. Police said the officer fired his gun in self-defense.
Kazi’s attorney said the department’s own body camera footage contradicts each of those claims. They also said the video shows some of the investigating officers were familiar with the former officer. Kazi’s family said officers treated their son differently.
“The Sugar Land Police never came to us, Sugar Land police never call us for an interview, they just took the one side of the story and punish my son, and tried to put the charges on my son, which is totally is wrong when somebody has to do something, both sides of the story has to come out, and let the jury decide it,” said Khalid Kazi, Ozzy’s dad.
Chief Eric Robins with the Sugar Land Police Department told KPRC2 officers did speak to Kazi.
“We did talk to the individual Mr. Kazi on the scene when it happened and ultimately when the district attorney came in and did an independent investigation and they literally contacted him, got a statement. So this was a third-party investigation, not from the Sugar Land Police Department,” the police chief said.
Robins said he reviewed the body camera and the investigation and believes his officers acted appropriately.
“I’ve looked at the entire investigation. It is my opinion that the officers were very professional.,” Robins said.
When asked why officers didn’t test the former officer’s blood, Robins responded, “He didn’t show any signs of intoxication. The incident again was on his private property. He has the right to be in his private property.”
The case is currently under review by the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office and will be presented to a grand jury in early December.