State police talking with BPD about re-investigating Sean Suiter’s death

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Det. Sean Suiter. Photo via Baltimore Police Department.

Eighteen months out from the perplexing and unsolved on-the-job death of Det. Sean Suiter, the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland State Police are in talks to conduct a joint investigation of the case.

State police this afternoon confirmed the potential probe, first reported by The Sun Wednesday morning.

“There have been preliminary discussions about Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department conducting a joint review of the case,” a department spokesperson said in an email. Maryland State Police “will not be assuming responsibility for the investigation,” the message noted.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told The Sun this morning that State Police Superintendent William M. Pallozzi agreed to have troopers look at the case at Harrison’s request.

The review will add another layer of scrutiny to the murky case. Last summer, an independent panel of investigators, convened by newly jailed former BPD commissioner Darryl De Sousa, concluded Suiter took his own life on the job in Harlem Park on Nov. 15, 2017, the night before he was due to testify before a grand jury about corrupt Gun Trace Task Force officers.

The evening of his death, Suiter had been following up on a 2016 triple murder in a vacant lot in the 900 block off Bennett Place in Harlem Park with David Bomenka–not his usual partner–when he was shot in the head by his own gun. He died the following day in at University of Maryland Shock Trauma.

His death prompted a much-criticized lockdown of Harlem Park, as well as a six-figure reward from law enforcement agencies for tips leading to the arrest of his killer.

The following summer, the panel of police experts concluded in a report, “the evidence simply does not support anyone other than Detective Suiter himself firing the fatal shot. Nor does the evidence support a conclusion that Detective Suiter fired that shot accidentally. That leaves only this tragic scenario.”

Suiter’s family and his attorney have dismissed that conclusion. His widow, Nicole Suiter, told outlets as recently this spring that she believes it was an “inside job,” asserting that “something’s being covered up.”

The case remains an open murder investigation with a $215,000 reward still on offer.

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to an email requesting details about the joint review.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
Ethan McLeod
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