BALTIMORE – The Baltimore police detective who was murdered last week after an encounter with a suspicious man was shot with his own weapon, the city’s police commissioner said during a news conference Wednesday. His scheduled testimony is now in the forefront of the investigation.
Sean Suiter, 43, “was shot and killed with his own gun” just a day before he was supposed to testify in a federal police racketeering case, Commissioner Kevin Davis said, according to Fox 45 Baltimore.
“I am now aware of Detective Suiter’s pending federal grand jury testimony surrounding an incident that occurred several years ago with BPD police officers who are (were) federally indicted in March of this year,” Davis noted. “Detective Suiter was not the target of any ongoing criminal investigation.”
No other connection was made between Suiter’s status as a federal witness and the murder.
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The commissioner added there is evidence Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the force, endured a struggle, which was apparently evident from Suiter’s clothing.
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“We will continue to follow the evidence in this very important case. The fact that we have not yet made an arrest creates an environment for rumors to flourish,” Davis said, denying conspiracy theories surrounding the officer’s murder, WBAL-TV reported.
Davis said the evidence refutes the idea that Suiter “was anything other than a stellar officer” and his partner was, too.
In the course of his career with the Baltimore police, Suiter worked cases with two indicted members of the Gun Trace Task Force in at least 25 cases, mostly drug cases.
The slain detective’s partner took cover across the street during the shooting, Fox 45 reported. Police said Wednesday the incident was recorded on private surveillance video and the video has been recovered by law enforcement.
Suiter was shot Nov. 15 and died from his wounds the following day.
“We remain dedicated and committed to finding the person who ended such a beautiful life, such a wonderful detective, husband, father and friend,” Davis told reporters following the shooting. “We will find the person responsible for this ridiculous, absurd, unnecessary loss of life.”
Suiter and his partner were looking for a witness to an unsolved 2016 triple homicide, police said. The partner has reported that both he and Suiter happened upon a suspect behaving suspiciously about 20 minutes before the shooting.
The partner said Suiter witnessed the suspect again, and Suiter was shot seconds later.
Davis said there’s video from a private camera that shows Suiter’s partner immediately taking cover at the time of the shooting and calling 911.
“Upon the sound of gunfire, the partner sought cover across the street and immediately called 911. We know this because it is captured on private surveillance video that we have recovered,” Davis said.
Davis admitted that the description of the suspect remains “very vague.” The description remains unchanged from that of a black male wearing a black jacket with a white stripe.
Suiter was married with five children.
Fox 45 reported that funeral services for Suiter have been scheduled for Nov. 29.
(Photo: Screenshot ABC2 News broadcast via YouTube)
Reflections from LET Radio Personality, John “Jay” Wiley, retired Baltimore Police Department: