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.

Comments (4)
  1. TiredExcuses says:

    “Bealefeld knows the allegations against just one officer can harm the department’s credibility.”

    There is a reason in which police are not trusted… because their “sins” keep getting covered up !!! You want real credibility… then stop protecting those who can not do their job with integrity and honor. Granted… people make mistakes…. but start holding them accountable.

    A child was killed. That was a tragic incident all by its self… but for her body to be dumped… covered… did these boys get this notion themselves… or where they coached by the off-duty officer in the home at the time of the incident. Was it his gun… did he take it from them… ??? What about the refusal to help the mother search for her daughter unti 24 hours has passed… leaving her poor brother to find her.

    I think it is way to late to worry about the credibility of the department… clean out the garbage… then you might have something left over to be credible.

  2. sassy says:

    My heart goes out to this mother, brother and the rest of the family. I could not imagine if this was my child. However, since I am in the law enforcement field (not with Baltimore City), I think that its not fair to judge anyone until the investigation is complete. I know the alledged officer and although we have not worked together for several years, this is completely out of his character. I would be extremely disappointed if the allagations turn out to be truthful. With that being said, anyone who participated in covering up a crime of any sorts should be punished to the fullest, and law enforcement officers should not be exempt from this. Further more, their job is to protect the public, period!! I think we need to allow the detectives in this case time to continue investigating so they have all the facts, so we as the public and have justice. Let’s not judge anyone,… its not our job to do so anyway. Again my heart goes out to this mother and I hope one day she can have peace… WIth my prayers, they are always with them.

  3. johnsonj3 says:

    So Sassy, because you know this cop it’s not okay for anyone to have a say? If he had this gun in his car all the time and if he help them put this baby in the alley then he needs to be punish. Why would he hide the weapon in his car? To the public don’t put any truth in what these cops say or do. I smell a cover up.

  4. Mary says:

    In an earlier report, it was reported that he did not own the gun. But he is not immune from being possibly involved….maybe trying to protect the youths involved??? The child’s mother has so much class…she is not commenting until the investigation is complete. My sympathy to Monae’s mother as she waits for the painful news surrounding her daughter’s untimely death.

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