A day after State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby described the investigation of Det. Sean Suiter’s death as an “open” matter, contradicting a determination made by police, the BPD said there are a “small number of tasks” to complete in the case.
On Wednesday, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released a statement saying the case was closed after a Maryland State Police review of the BPD’s investigation found nothing to suggest it “was anything other than a suicide.”
But Mosby, when asked about the case Thursday, said she could not comment on an “open and pending matter,” and the Fraternal Order of Police told The Sun detectives are still investigating Suiter’s death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told WMAR it still rules the detectives death a homicide, and there won’t be any changed until Mosby’s offices finishes its inquiry.
Suiter’s family immediately challenged Harrison’s announcement, with his widow, Nicole, asking, “How many times are you going to kill my husband?” She and family attorney Jeremy Eldridge both said, “We’re ready for war.”
In a statement released after Harrison declared the case closed, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said the agency did not ever take control of the case, nor did detectives ever start their own investigation.
Suiter was shot with his own handgun on Nov. 15, 2017, while he was in a vacant lot in Harlem Park investigating a homicide. Initially, then-Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said a man approached Suiter in the lot and, after a confrontation, took the detective’s gun and shot him with it. The surrounding neighborhood was on lockdown for days as investigators looked for suspects and clues.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
In April 2018, Davis’ successor, Darryl De Sousa, tapped former law enforcement officers, criminal justice analysts and a lawyer to independently review the case, and the group determined four months later Suiter took his own life.
The board’s report pointed to traces of Suiter’s DNA inside the barrel of his gun, a splatter of blood on his shirt sleeve and a grainy video from a house on the 900 block of Bennett Place, down the street from the vacant lot.
Suiter was due to meet with federal investigators to discuss a 2010 incident related to the Gun Trace Task Force probe, in which offers pursued two men in a high-speed chase, which led to a fatal collision. The officers planted drugs in the car they were chasing to justify the pursuit.
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