Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time, Baltimore’s police commissioner talked about the investigation into what, if anything, a city police officer knew about the accidental shooting of a 13-year-old girl.
Derek Valcourt spoke exclusively with the police commissioner Monday afternoon.
The tragic death of 13-year-old Monae Turnage, who was accidentally shot by two of her young friends playing with a rifle, was made worse by news that the weapon that killed her was later found inside the car of off-duty Baltimore police officer John Ward. Ward is now suspended from the department by Baltimore Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.
“We will promise and avow there will be justice done and that we will dot every i and cross every t to make sure that when we act in this case, we are going to be ready to ensure that justice is done,” Bealefeld said.
Bealefeld is unable to comment on specifics, saying detectives need time to get it right.
Turnage’s mother is reserving comment, only saying she’s anxious for the completed investigation.
“I hope they hurry up and get through,” she said.
“It is a hit whether it’s a horrible tragedy like this. We’re talking to the commanders every day, getting updates. `Where are we in the investigation? What specific work needs to be done?’” Bealefeld said.
Bealefeld knows the allegations against just one officer can harm the department’s credibility.
“We recognize that these are hits that the police department takes but again, I have to remind people that right now in Baltimore as I’m speaking and they watch this on the news, there are really brave men and women that are out there, risking their lives for people they don’t know and really trying to do the very best job we can for Baltimore,” Bealefeld said.
The 12 and 13-year-old boys who accidentally shot Turnage have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Their names are not being released because they are juveniles.