A Baltimore homicide detective’s gun was fired “more than once” Wednesday afternoon during a confrontation with a man that ended with the detective fatally wounded, the city’s top police official Friday.
Commissioner Kevin Davis also said Det. Sean Suiter’s department-issued gun was the only one recovered, but “that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a second gun.”
The commissioner gave the new details amid an intense manhunt for the killer that was in its third day. “We are looking at every possibility,” Davis said of the investigation.
The 43-year-old detective and father of five was shot while pursuing leads in a December triple fatal shooting inside a rowhouse on Bennett Place near Fremont Avenue in West Baltimore’s Harlem Park neighborhood. Police have said Suiter confronted a man acting suspiciously in a vacant lot in the same block as the triple killing.
Davis cautioned that “we’re not ruling anything out” and that preliminary information could change. Police have said the man who they believe shot the homicide detective, an 18-year veteran, was injured or wounded in the incident.
Davis said the evidence suggests the gunman is “still probably in Baltimore. I don’t think he jumped on a plane and went to France.
A reward for information leading to an arrest had reached $190,000 as of Friday afternoon. “Tips are absolutely coming in,” Davis said. “We’re always one tip away from breaking this case. ... I know the community is just as upset as we are.”
Suiter died at a trauma center on Thursday; he lived with his wife and family in York, Pa. He was originally from the District and was a Navy veteran.
"We have lost our best," Baltimore Police Maj. Martin Bartness wrote on Twitter. "When I was a new sgt in the [Western], Det Suiter was my rock. He knew his post; colleagues & citizens respected him. He was the man u wanted investigating ur case & patrolling ur neighborhood. Quick with a smile & big of heart, he is dearly missed."
Davis said Friday that investigators would keep the area of the crime scene secured through the weekend.
The commissioner said he has talked to several Harlem Park residents about the inconvenience of the continued police presence. "To a person, each and every one understands why we're out here," Davis said. "They don't want a killer roaming around their community, either."