Hogan: Maryland offering $100,000 reward for information on person who killed Baltimore homicide detective
The state of Maryland is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for killing a Baltimore homicide detective, Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Twitter Thursday evening.
This money is in addition to the $69,000 reward being offered by local authorities and the Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland.
Det. Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the city police force, was shot Wednesday afternoon while investigating another killing in the notoriously violent Harlem Park neighborhood in West Baltimore. The 43-year-old detective was a husband and father of five, who was described by other police as a dedicated officer. Suiter joined the city’s homicide unit in 2015.
“Everyone that worked with him loved him. Even when you were down he would smile with his mischievous smile and make everyone happy and feel at ease,” said Rick Willard, a retired officer who led a drug squad in the Western District of which Suiter was a member. “He is one of the best officers I ever worked with, and it breaks my heart.”
Suiter died just after noon Thursday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where officials say he was surrounded by his family.
Davis said police have encountered evidence suggesting the suspect was injured, but he did not elaborate. Police are searching emergency rooms and doctor’s offices for “anyone with an unexplained injury,” Davis said.
Hogan has also ordered the flags be flown at half-staff to honor Suiter.
The Baltimore homicide detective who was shot in the head Wednesday while conducting an investigation has died, police said.
Police identified the officer as Det. Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the city police force and a husband and father of five. In an email to the department, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said he died surrounded by his family.
“His tragic death will forever impact the BPD,” Davis wrote in the email obtained by The Baltimore Sun. “Each of you go out there and put your lives on the line every single day. The importance of your sacrifice and Sean’s can’t be overstated.”
Baltimore Police and their federal partners continued a massive manhunt Thursday for the suspect. Authorities offered a $69,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Davis said outside of Maryland Shock Trauma that police had “investigative leads” that they were pursuing, but were pleading for anyone with information to come forward.
“My best hunch is more than one or two people know or suspect our killer was involved in this yesterday,” Davis said. “We’re asking those folks to do some soul searching and pick up the phone and give us a call.”
Police say Suiter was shot in a notoriously violent section of the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore while investigating another killing. An entire city block remained cordoned off Thursday morning as police scoured the area and cadets began canvassing door to door for information.
Mayor Catherine Pugh reiterated Thursday that crime in the city was “out of control,” and asked residents to pray.
“He was well-respected, and he will be very sorely missed by everyone,” Pugh said.
Davis said late Wednesday that Suiter was in the neighborhood doing “followup” on a homicide case when he saw a man engaged in suspicious activity. Suiter attempted to speak to the man, Davis said, and was shot.
A police source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly, said Suiter was in the neighborhood trying to find a witness for a pending case when he and another detective saw someone suspicious in a vacant lot in the middle of the 900 block of Bennett Place.
The two detectives split up, apparently to try to cover different exits of the block when the shooting occurred, the source said.
Davis said that police had encountered evidence to suggest the suspect was injured but did not elaborate. He said police were searching emergency rooms and doctor’s offices for “anyone with an unexplained injury.”
Authorities asked anyone with information to contact the Baltimore FBI office at 1-800-CALL-FBI, Baltimore police detectives at 410-396-2100, or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP. Tips can also be texted to Baltimore police via 443-902-4824.
The reward is being offered by the Baltimore divisions of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Metro Crime Stoppers.
Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the state flag to be flown at half-staff, and in a statement that the “individual responsible for this heinous crime will be found, charged, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Baltimore Police has our full support as they track down this violent criminal and bring him to justice,” he said.
Suiter’s shooting, which occurred about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, was the second of a law enforcement officer in West Baltimore this month. Sgt. Tony Anthony Mason Jr., 40, a District of Columbia police officer who lived in Baltimore, was shot to death in the 2800 block of Elgin Avenue on Nov. 4. He was off-duty at the time.
The last Baltimore Police officer to die in the line of duty was Officer Craig Chandler, who in November 2014 crashed into a utility pole while pursuing a moped. In 2011, Officer William Torbit was fatally shot in a friendly fire incident while trying to break up a crowd outside a nightclub.
The last city officer fatally shot by a suspect in the line of duty was Officer Troy Chesley, who was off-duty but took action as a suspect attempted to rob him. Chesley’s son, Trayvon, was fatally shot earlier this year.
There have been 309 homicides in Baltimore in 2017, the third straight year of more than 300 killings.
Davis said police remained in Harlem Park trying to find “every bit of evidence” they could to help identify the shooter.
“This is going to be a long night for detectives and investigators,” he said.
Pugh said, “enough is enough.”
“Crime has to come to an end in the city,” she said. “This kind of violence cannot be tolerated.”
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said she knew Suiter from her work as a trial prosecutor. “I know firsthand his love and passion for serving the citizens of Baltimore and fighting crime. We have lost a true gem today,” she said in a statement Thursday.
Mosby called the shooting an “act of cowardice.” She said she wanted his family to know it would not go unpunished.
“I want them to rest assured that we will do our part to ensure that the perpetrator of this offense is brought to justice,” she said.
Police union president Gene Ryan and Lisa Robinson of the Vanguard Justice Society both asked for the community’s support for police officers to solve not only the shooting of the detective but other violent crimes in the city.
“Your help is necessary for the job that we do,” said Robinson, whose organization represents minority and female officers.
For hours after Suiter was shot Wednesday night, officers maintained a wide perimeter around the 900 block of Bennett Place, with officers taking cover around corners and the police helicopter, Foxtrot, swirling low. Police used the helicopter loudspeaker to tell people to go inside their homes, and a county tactical vehicle arrived later.
The location, just northwest of U.S. 40 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is a particularly violent one. More than a dozen people have been shot or killed there in recent years.
Two people were shot near the corner, one of them fatally, on July 18, and three people were killed in a single incident last December. After a particularly violent spate in 2013, police barricaded the block and stationed an officer there around the clock.
The area was targeted for increased policing again this summer after the separate killings of two 15-year-old boys in August — including one right at the intersection of Bennett and Fremont.
Jeffrey Quick was shot to death on the corner on Aug. 22. Tyrese Davis was killed down the street earlier in the month.
After those killings, Maj. Sheree Briscoe, the Western District commander, said the area would be targeted with increased policing, but also with other city services — the approach Pugh has touted as a holistic way to address crime.
Baltimore Sun reporters Colin Campbell and Talia Richman contributed to this story.
A veteran Baltimore police detective died in the hospital today, one day after he was shot in the head by an unknown gunman, police said.
Homicide detective Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran with the Baltimore Police, was conducting a follow-up to a homicide investigation around 5 p.m. Wednesday when he saw a man engaging in suspicious activity, police said.
Suiter approached the man and was shot in the head shortly after, police said.
The officer's partner was nearby and rushed over to render aid, they added.
The officer was immediately taken to the hospital and placed on life support, a hospital official said.
Suiter was in "very, very grave condition" Wednesday evening and was fighting "for his life," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
Suiter, 43, died around noon today, authorities said.
He was a married father of five.
Davis said today that Suiter was "a loved guy" who "loved being a cop.
"We have lost our best. When I was a new sgt in the WD, 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. RIP, my friend
As police hunt for his killer, authorities said evidence suggests the suspect may have been wounded.
Davis on Wednesday described the at-large suspect as "cold" and "callous."
"The individual responsible for this heinous crime will be found, charged, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter. "The Baltimore Police Department has our full support as they track down this violent criminal and bring him to justice."
"May God bless the brave men and women of the Baltimore Police and all law enforcement who serve and protect us every single day," he added.
The individual responsible for this heinous crime will be found, charged, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. @BaltimorePolice has our full support as they track down this violent criminal and bring him to justice.
A $69,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the suspect's arrest.