A 43-year-old Baltimore Police detective was shot and killed by a suspect during a confrontation November 15.
According to police officials, Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter was dressed in his official uniform when he made contact with a suspect exhibiting suspicious behavior. As he approached, the suspect wielded a handgun and fired a shot at Suiter, which struck him in the head.
Suiter is a United States Navy veteran and had been with the Baltimore Police Department for 18 years. He’s survived by his five children and his wife.
Here’s what you need to know about Suiter and the shooting incident:
1. Suiter Was Shot in the Head While Conducting a Homicide Investigation
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference that Suiter was conducting a follow-up to a homicide 2016 investigation around 5 p.m. local time November 15. As he arrived on scene, Suiter reportedly witnessed a man who he saw engaging in “suspicious activity,” Davis said.
As Suiter approached the unidentified man with a partner, he engaged in conversation and was shot in the head, left battling for his life. He was rushed to the Maryland Medical Center hospital in a patrol car. On the way to the medical center, the vehicle was struck by another vehicle, and he was transported by another vehicle.
Suiter placed on life support and was initially in “very, very grave condition.” Less than 24 hours later, Davis said at a press conference that Suiter died from his injuries.
2. The Suspect in the Shooting is still at large
The suspect who shot Suiter is still at large, and officers have been canvassing the area looking for him. Davis described the suspect as being “cold” and “callous,” saying a manhunt has been launched to locate him. There is evidence that the suspect “may have been wounded,” Davis added.
“The individual responsible for this heinous crime will be found, charged, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” MAryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted. “The Baltimore Police Department has our full support as they track down this violent criminal and bring him to justice.”
Officials said that a $69,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the Baltimore FBI office at 1-800-CALL-FBI or police detectives at 410-396-2100. Tips are also encouraged at Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP and can be texted anonymously to 443-902-4824.
3. Suiter Had a Long History With the Police Department
Suiter spend the last 18 years with the Baltimore Police Department and loved every second of it, his colleagues said. Prior to working as a homicide detective, Suiter worked for many years in the city’s western district, working alongside several officers who became detectives with him. In addition to that service, he also worked in several specialty operation units and held several accommodations. A database of city employees says Suiter was hired on August 18, 1999 and received an annual salary of almost $73,000 in 2015.
Police officials announced Suiter’s death at a press conference outside the hospital, adding that he knew many doctors and nurses at the hospital.
In a statement from the Baltimore City Lodge No. 3, President Gene S. Ryan expressed his condolences.
“We grieve for his loss, and for the pain and suffering that will be endured by his family and friends,” Ryan said. “Rest assured, however, that this has not broken our collective spirit and we will continue to do the work that Sean loved, and do it with the same integrity and commitment that he exemplified.”
4. Suiter Was the Father of 5 Children
Officials said Suiter was born and raised in Washington D.C. and met his wife, Nicole, in Baltimore. Police said that he lived in Pennsylvania with his five children: Sean, Zaria, Marquis, Chris and Demyra. Their ages range from 14 to 24. The family was at the hospital surrounding him as he died.
“(The family) is here surrounding Sean, loving Sean as the Baltimore Police Department has been here constantly since this very tragic event,” Davis said.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh asked for prayers for the Suiter family and his colleagues.
“When they leave their homes, their families’ hearts go out with them,” Pugh said at a press conference. “Every life lost to violence or any other issue is a life lost to Baltimore City.”
Pugh described Suiter as a well-liked person. He was a former Navy officer who “loved being a cop,” Davis said.
4. Suiter’s Death is the 1st for Baltimore Police Since 2011
Suiter’s death was the first officer death in the line of duty for the Baltimore Police Department since 2011. Officer William Torbi Jr., who was working in plain clothes, was killed by friendly fire in 2011 when responding to a melee at a nightclub.