Baltimore, MD – The Baltimore Police detective who was shot last night, while investigating a 2016 murder Wednesday night, has died.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis made the sad announcement at a media availability Thursday afternoon, calling the fallen officer a “wonderful detective.”
Detective Sean Suiter, 43, was pronounced dead at noon Thursday, and leaves behind a wife, Nicole, and five children, Commissioner Davis said.
“We will find the person responsible for this ridiculous, absurd, unnecessary loss of life,” he vowed.
Det. Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the Baltimore Police, was with a partner from the homicide division investigating a murder, wearing a suit and tie, with his badge displayed, when he encountered the suspect.
The incident occurred in the Bennett Street area, in “an empty space,” between two other row houses, where a house used to be. Many of the houses in the area where the confrontation occurred were vacant and boarded up, Commissioner Davis said.
Det. Suiter attempted to engage the suspect in conversation, and was almost immediately shot in the head, he said.
His partner heard the gunshot and rushed to render aid. The partner called for help on the police radio.
The commissioner said the suspect is an African-American male, but they don’t have any other descriptive information, or a direction of travel when the suspect left the scene.
Mayor Catherine Pugh asked the city to pray for their police officers.
“[Det. Suiter was] a police officer who gave his life doing his duty. A former Navy officer who has served his country and has served his city well,” Pugh said.
She said everyone in Baltimore City knew Det. Suiter, and he will be “sorely missed.”
The staff of Maryland Shock Trauma, who treated the detective, was well-acquainted with their patient.
“Like any Baltimore detective, he interacts with the staff of more than one hospital. He’s been here investigating many cases over the years and he’s gotten to know them,” Commissioner Davis said. He explained the close relationship homicide detectives have with medical personnel who treat traumas and gunshots in the city.
Police are asking citizens and medical professionals to report any unexplained injuries they encounter.
“Our killer went somewhere after he killed Det. Suiter. He may be wounded. There’s evidence that suggests that the suspect may be wounded,” the commissioner said.
Det. Suiter was born and raised in Washington, DC. He served in multiple capacities for the Baltimore Police, including a couple of specialty operations units.
He’d been a district detective at the department’s western unit, and received several commendations for his work.
“He’s a loved guy at the BPD,” Commissioner Davis said. “He loved being a cop.”
Several dozen police chaplains were on hand to help Baltimore police officers, he said.
Det. Suiter’s family lived in Pennsylvania, police said. His youngest child was 14 years old.
The commissioner answered questions about why the crime scene area had such a large section of the city shut down for so long, in the wake of the shooting on Wednesday.
He said police were still searching for an armed suspect into the wee hours of the morning.
“The last thing we wanted to do was put the community at risk,” Commissioner Davis said.
There is a $69,000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of Det. Suiter’s killer.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Detective Suiter and the Baltimore Police Department.
Detective Sean Suiter, your life mattered.